Northern lights appear in some parts of New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – You may not have to fly to the other side of the world to see Aurora Borealis in the night sky. Some lucky New Mexicans are seeing the northern lights from right here at home.

“I just had to drive a half hour north,” photographer Jonathan Lujan said.

Lujan and his brother set out to capture a meteor shower Sunday night in La Cueva but did not expect to see the northern lights.

“Different colors and different things like spewing out, it was just it was beautiful, and it was awesome,” said Lujan.

He went on to say he always dreamt of seeing Aurora Borealis somewhere in Norway or Alaska.

“I’ve always thought how beautiful the photos were, but to actually witness them in New Mexico was unreal,” Lujan said.

Melanie Templet with the Rio Rancho Astronomical Society said it is real and could happen again soon.

“When the sun has large storms, they send the charged particles out into this into space,” she said. “These electrically charged particles come toward the earth, and they interact with our magnetic field.”

The release of energy turning into an explosion of color across the night sky, but not typically here. So. KOB 4 asked why New Mexicans have suddenly been able to see the lights multiple times this month.

Templet said the short answer is bigger and more frequent storms on the sun, aimed directly at earth, which make for farther-stretching auroras.

“It’s been a big storm, and we’re on the edge of the solar of the Aurora,” Templet said.

If you want to see the Auroras, Templet said to get away from the city late at night between 10 pm and 2 am, and check NOAA’s online aurora tracker to make sure the lights are back in New Mexico.

The Rio Rancho Astronomical Society is celebrating “Astronomy Day” Saturday at the Rainbow Park Observatory (301 Southern Blvd, Rio Rancho, NM) from 5-8 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. they are giving tips on how to safely view the upcoming solar eclipses.