Lucky green auroras fill the sky on St. Pat’s Day morning

An intense aurora flames over Duluth, Minn. this Sunday morning before dawn. The whole northern sky was lit up. Photo: Bob King

If it’s still dark where you live, go out and look at the northern sky. It’s been lit up with lively and bright auroras since at least 4 a.m. here in Duluth, Minn. The display raged right up through morning twilight. After a quiet night, the Kp index┬áshot up to “6” or moderate storm level around 3 a.m. CDT. Aurora chances continue today and into the evening.

Enough words – how about a few more photos:

A rare red ray pokes out from among an aurora that was mostly green with occasional blues. At the time of the photo – 4:35 a.m. CDT – rapid waves of aurora washed across the sky. Photo: Bob King

An amazing display of blue-purple rays topped the green aurora just before dawn Sunday morning. The temperature dropped to -24 F at dawn — tough on the camera batteries! Photo: Bob King

Crown of glory! Photo: Bob King

Pardon the power lines, but I just had to get the shot of these dual bands of auroral rays. Photo: Bob King

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

10 thoughts on “Lucky green auroras fill the sky on St. Pat’s Day morning

  1. Completely overcast here this morning. In the South Hemisphere, green Lemmos reaches it’s brightest within a week. Although at near 4.5 magnitude, I suppose that it is possible to reach magnitude 4. Most of us may have difficulty locating it with large binoculars by the end of April.

  2. Ugh…I was out til 1:45 am and noticed the classic auroral glow and thats it, then clouds. I decided to call it a night. I guess it cleared out as many in my area seemed to have taken quite a few excellent pictures of the aurora, including yourself!
    There havent been too many opportunities as of lately..
    Im kind of bummed out.

    • Hi Brian,
      Such a close call! That hurts. I would not have seen the aurora but for the fact I got up to look for a new comet in the a.m. sky. As soon as I looked out the window to check on the sky at 4:15 I was blown back. What! I had to layer up because of the cold. Never has getting dressed seem to go so painfully slow. All I wanted to do was run outside. A little cold for that!

      • Im for sure happy for you, maybe the will hang around till evening! WHo knows though, thats asking for alot since it was near midnight when the impact actually occurred.
        Will see. Tonight should be good regardless since it will be clear for awhile.

  3. Where can I check the Kp index? Also, congrats on your photos making it on
    national t.v., (NBC). It was very exciting to hear “Duluth” mentioned, and see your photos.

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