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Northern lights expected to dance over Alaska skies tonight

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, fill the sky early Sunday, March 17, 2013, above the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox church in Kenai, Alaska. The bright display at times filled the sky.
M. SCOTT MOON
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, fill the sky early Sunday, March 17, 2013, above a motorist stopped in a roadside scenic pullout in Kenai, Alaska. The bright display at times filled the sky. (AP Photo/M. Scott Moon)
M. SCOTT MOON

Sunday is looking like a potentially good night for aurora-watching in Alaska. A solar storm on Friday has increased activity of the northern lights, and the aurora forecast from the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute is "high" for Sunday.

"Weather permitting, highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Barrow to Bethel, Dillingham and Ketchikan, and visible low on the horizon from King Salmon," the institute reported on its website.

The area covered includes Anchorage, the Mat-Su and the Kenai Peninsula, although as many Alaskans know, auroras can be fickle and reward patience. The best viewing tends to occur in places without much ground light and with clear views to the north.

Auroras were reported around Alaska on Saturday night and Sunday morning, including around Southcentral. They were also visible in parts of the Lower 48, including around Seattle.

The weather forecast for Sunday night in Anchorage, the Matanuska and Susitna valleys and on the Peninsula called for mostly clear skies.

Did you see them last night? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Reader submitted aurora borealis photo gallery

Anchorage Daily News / adn.com