Just got back from photographing Comet PANSTARRS and watching the moonrise. Shortly before 10 p.m. a dim auroral arc fanned across the northern sky about 10 degrees above the horizon. There were a few rays, too.
I was a little surprised because tonight’s activity wasn’t in the space weather forecast. I’m guessing it’s spillover from yesterday’s aurora caused by fluctuating speeds in the gust of particles from the sun called the solar wind. As far as I could tell, the aurora never showed here last night. Sky watchers at higher latitudes were more fortunate; a nice display graced skies over Finland, Norway and Alaska even in moonlight.
When the moon rose higher, the sky brightened and the lights faded back. Looking at the auroral oval, it’s expanding toward the northern U.S. as I write this around 11 p.m. Might want to take a look if it’s clear in case things take a turn for the brighter. The forecast calls for generally “quiet” conditions after tonight.