Be on the lookout for the northern lights tonight (July 28-29). You can even pair up your aurora-gazing with some late-night Delta Aquarid meteor watching . The shower is expected to reach maximum tomorrow morning after moonset when 10-15 meteors per hour could flash from a dark sky.
A high speed solar wind blowing from an open coronal hole in the sun’s atmosphere is presently stoking Earth’s upper atmosphere with an abundance of solar electrons and protons. Looking at the auroral oval map, the northern lights should be visible over Scandinavia tonight if twilight’s not too bright.
While there are no guarantees the activity will continue into the North American night, be on the watch. Any auroras we might get will be more obvious after moonset around 2 a.m. I’ll update later this evening if the lights show up over Duluth, Minn.
** UPDATE 11:30 p.m. (CDT): Pretty cloudy now here, so it’s difficult to tell if aurora is out. I’ve received one report of some faint ones. Auroral oval has shrunk since 10 p.m. and activity’s dropped off a little … for the moment.