Aurora alert Feb. 19-20 – it’s back!

The visibility line of aurora crossed into the northern U.S. around 11 p.m. this evening. This map shows the extant of the auroral oval at around 11:45 p.m. Credit: NOAA

Guess what? Exactly! Magnetic fields in the solar winds are once again favorable for firing up auroras tonight. Although it’s overcast in Duluth, we’ve had one report of patchy northern lights from western Wisconsin, and a minor G1 magnetic storm is in progress.

The auroral oval, a permanent ring of aurora centered on Earth’s geomagnetic poles, has expanded southward in the past couple hours. Observers with clear skies should check the northern sky overnight for rays and arcs as the line of visibility has now crossed into the northern U.S.

The aurora near Billings, Montana Wednesday night. Credit: Ben Chorn

UPDATE 12:30 a.m. CST: Kp=6 / We now have a G2 moderate geomagnetic storm underway.

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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.

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