Woo-hoo! The aurora’s nearly out-competing the clouds tonight. The Kp index, a good indicator of auroral activity, shot up to “6″ or moderate storm level this evening around 9-10 p.m. As of 11 o’clock (CST) the northern sky was thick with a bright, green haze and large, soft rays extending nearly to the zenith. If it’s clear by you, take a look outside and don’t forget to bring a camera.
The satellite plot shows the northern lights dipping down across the full northern tier of states and fairly deep into Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Interestingly, the NOAA space weather forecast has been predicting only “quiet” conditions the past few days. Apparently our planet’s stuck in the tail end of a high-speed stream of solar particles from a coronal mass ejection.
My photo only hints at what someone with clear skies would see. To see what it really looked liked, check out the photo below. Closer to home, Sarah D’Angelo had clear skies in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and took these pictures from Whitefish Point last night.
UPDATE 11/14: The aurora raged all night, but the storm now appears to be subsiding. If by chance Earth’s magnetosphere works itself into a lather again tonight, I’ll update with fresh information. Meanwhile, check out more pictures of both the aurora and yesterday’s total eclipse HERE.