Sunday, September 14, 2014

This weekend's auroras

The following article was among the five most read on Reuters on Friday, earning it the position of featured story in last night's Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Solar storm and aurora).

U.S. skygazers could get rare glimpse of northern lights
By Victoria Cavaliere
SEATTLE Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:58pm EDT
(Reuters) - Stargazers across a wide swath of the United States could get a rare view on Friday of the northern lights, a colorful cosmic display normally only visible in far northern latitudes.

The northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, was expected to be visible after dark on the East Coast from Maine to as far south as Maryland, and across large parts of Michigan and Iowa.

Forecasters said northwestern states including Idaho and Washington were expected to get the best view of the phenomenon, in which the sky is illuminated with streaks and swirls of green, red, blue and yellow.
While I didn't see any northern lights here, other locations were much luckier.  The image above came from Maine via Spaceweather.  Also, posted a really spectacular video, Auroras 'Will Never Be Forgotten' From X-Flare's Solar Storm.

Chad Blakley ( captured a vibrant display of Northern Lights over Abisko National Park in Sweden on Sept. 12, 2014. They were generated by a KP-7 geomagnetic storm that hit Earth as a result of two coronal mass ejections.
That reminds me of the aurora I watched 22 years ago, but that's a story for another time.

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