Possible Auroras For Northern U.S. Tonight May 7-8

A low auroral glow silhouettes distant clouds early this morning (May 7) around 12:15 a.m. A similar aurora might be visible tonight. Photo: Bob King

Although not in the forecast for the U.S., looking at tonight’s satellite plots of the auroral oval – the permanent rings of auroral activity centered over the north and south magnetic poles – it’s obvious activity is up as of 10 p.m. Central time. Similar conditions existed both yesterday morning and last night.

Those living in the northern U.S. who have access to dark skies might want to be on the lookout for low arcs of aurora and faint rays late tonight. Let us know if you see any.

2 Responses

  1. Hey Bob,
    Congratulation on your fabulous morning of comets, meteors and aurora. I was thinking that the next few days are the best bet to try a comet triple whammy. ISON (if one has the large telescope) in Gemini is in the west (not too far west?) at sunset with little moon interference, PANSTARRS and Lemmon in the morning sky and easy to find. Here’s an odd question. Has any sungrazer near perihelion been seen in a dark sky during a total solar eclipse? Sounds wonderful but highly improbable.
    Norman S.

    1. astrobob

      Hi Norman,
      ISON is still very faint but there are other comets out in the evening and morning in the 11-13 mag. range. If you’re game, try for C/2006 S3 LONEOS, C/2010 S1 LINEAR, C/2011 R1 McNaught and 63P/Wild. And yes, there was a sungrazer discovered during an eclipse in 1882. Check out the story: http://cometography.com/lcomets/1882k1.html

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