Aurora Alert Tonight Aug. 27-28

A large coronal hole (dark patch above center) stands out in this photo made in far ultraviolet light this afternoon by NASA’s Solay Dynamics Observer.  Solar wind streams from it may spark minor auroras across the northern U.S. tonight. Credit:NASA/ SDO

Keep watch on the sky tonight if you live in the northern U.S. and southern Canada. The aurora may make an appearance thanks to a brush with gusty solar winds blowing from a coronal hole, an opening in the sun’s magnetic canopy.

Low green arc in the north that reached to about 10 degrees hight (one fist at arm’s length) Tuesday night before moonrise. Credit: Bob King

Activity kicked up to minor storm level (Kp=5) this afternoon spreading auroras across the northern parts of Scandinavia. After a slight dip in the action early this evening, activity may pick up again tonight. Or not. Take a look and let us know if anything shows.

* Update 12:30 a.m. — An auroral arc hung around all evening low in the northern sky seen from Duluth, Minn. US. I never saw any rays, but the camera revealed subtle parallel rays in the arc.

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