Celebrate the northern lights by giving back to the night sky

Aurora and cloud over island - Jeff Rennicke

May 13, 2024

They were beautiful, one of the greatest aurora displays in decades with the sun sending at least five immense CME’s (coronal mass ejections) streaming towards the earth, creating a G5 Auroral Storm that made the northern lights visible to a wider swath of the world than we have seen in decades.

Purple and green aurora over the Apostle Islands - Jeff Rennicke
Aurora straight up - Jeff Rennicke
Aurora and trees - Jeff Rennicke

Northern lights over the Apostle Islands – Jeff Rennicke photos

Aurora forecast map showing May 10th aurora event

The sky danced. Not just over the Apostle Islands but as far south as Florida and Texas here in the U.S. and around the world.

They shone over the battlefield in Ukraine. The sky glowed pink in Tyrol, Austria. Airline passengers looked out over the wings in awe while landing at London’s Heathrow Airport.

They glowed at latitudes as low as Mexico, the Bahamas, western Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and Argentina. Untold millions of people stood looking up in awe and wonder.

Purple and green aurora over the Apostle Islands - Jeff Rennicke

You watched the lights. You scrolled the photographs on social media, now give something back to the northern lights.

Here’s five things you can do

  • Make sure your own home lights are not part of the problem of light pollution by doing a self-check of your outdoor lights using this “Five Principles of Responsible Outdoor Lighting” card.
Lighting recommendations card from Dark Sky International
  • Encourage your neighbors to do the same. Hold a Dark Sky Neighborhood night by asking everyone to check their own lighting and turn them off just for one night to celebrate the stars.
  • Ask your city or town to adopt a responsible outdoor lighting ordinance if it doesn’t already have one.
Diagram of bad, better, best outdoor lighting from Dark Sky International
  • Support the Starry Skies Initiative to raise awareness of both the beauty of the night sky and the threats to that beauty.
  • Join your local astronomy club or start your own.

Go to our Starry Skies Initiative page for more ways that you can help, tips for making the most out of your viewing experience, the best places to see them in the Apostle Islands, and more.

Together let’s celebrate the beauty and keep the stars shining bright.

Apostle Islands Starry Skies Project logo

You may also like…