Aurora view from the coast is better when you look up

The northern lights have been absent this week due to clouds in the northeast United States. That is not to say they are gone forever.

KJTC meteorologist Kevin Buckley says the lights are expected to show up again Friday and to make the day extra festive. A full moon and full harvest moon will cause the northern lights to pop up most easily across the Arctic region.

If you’re up early and you’re headed up north, here are some tips to help you get the best view.

Arctic fog

Ice crystals create light snow that is invisible by human eyes. Be sure to wear your glasses or facial tissue close to your face. Do this a couple times a day. You can also wear a hand or leg warmer for anyone who likes to close their eyes and give themselves a nice warm glow.

Keep the inside of your car and tree branches lit

By shinning their headlights into the dark sky, you can activate hundreds of white lights produced by the earth’s magnetic field that can fill in for the missing aurora borealis. To pull this off properly, be sure to perform the trick at night.

Look for cold, dark spaces

The earth’s magnetic field shimmers with a green tint and a light color called heliotrope. If you see heavy cloud cover and fog (or sunshine) the aurora is unlikely to shine.

Prayer vigil

When the northern lights start shining it is best to pull out your longest strands of tinfoil and pray. This is because the northern lights are a phenomenon that is increased when the Earth’s magnetic field is a bit more strong.

So get your prayers in and get away from that big city

Remember, for the best view, you should take the car to open spaces — or even down to the beach — for a nice, dark viewing area.

Never look directly at the aurora

You’re increasing the chance of burning your eyes out. If you want to take a look, you’ll have to do it in the field. As explained by Nicholas Cotroneo from the Canadian Space Agency, please keep your eyes above and to the side. The farther you go off into the field, the less chance you have for a clear view of the lights.

Set your phone for day/night viewing modes

A lot of aurora lovers want to know if they can set their smartphones or laptops for the day/night viewing settings. The answer is yes. If you have a great night view, picture it, but keep that in mind when the day comes and you switch it back on. We all know what happens to things with too much daytime light.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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