Will the Northern Lights be spotted in California again?

The Northern Lights, otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis, appeared over Northern California earlier this month, lighting up the skies with a rare celestial show. 

Yan Li, research physicist, UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, told UC News that it's reasonable to expect more of these aurora sightings in the next few years.

Specifically, there could also be some short-term "hotspot" activity, she said, in the next four weeks. 

She said that the sun is in the "rising phase" of the solar cycle, approaching its maximum activity in the United States, meaning this "violent" solar energy could be producing peak emissions of light from atoms and molecules.

Many other scientists have said that the Northern Lights will be seen more frequently in the next two years. 

But in California?

Chris Chaston, research physicist, UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, told UC News that sky gazers might be waiting a long time to see the Northern Lights again in the Golden State.

He suggested booking a hotel near Fairbanks, Alaska for a couple of weeks during mid-winter, to get the best view.

Other good places are northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland and central Canada. 

In all these places, the best chance of seeing the lights are a clear sky and barely any moonlight or city lights. 

Several Bay Area residents spotted the Northern Lights in places, including Oakley in Contra Costa County on May 10 and 11. 

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center provides forecasts every day, though the accuracy of these solar flares are still not perfect, scientists said.