Aurora watch for northern U.S. overnight April 29-30

Map compiled with satellite data showing the extent of the auroral oval at midnight (CDT) tonight. Credit: NOAA

A stream of high-speed particles from a coronal hole on the sun is blowing by Earth tonight and causing an uptick in auroral activity across Canada. Some of that appears to be spilling into the northern U.S. at this hour, so keep an eye out for a green glow or low arcs spanning the north if your sky is clear. We’re cloudy here in Duluth, Minn. so no first-hand report.

Just for a taste, here’s a beautiful aurora photographed from Faskrudsfjordur in eastern Iceland on April 19, 2014. Credit and copyright: Jónína Guðrún Óskarsdóttir

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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.

5 thoughts on “Aurora watch for northern U.S. overnight April 29-30

  1. We will be in norway June 1-12 2014. What are the chances of us seeing the lights then?? We will be on one of the ships with Hurtegreuten.

    • Jeff,
      While it’s possible you might see the northern lights, you’ll have contend with twilight all night long at Bergen’s 60 degree latitude at that time of year. Only a bright display would be visible. The moon will start out as a crescent (no glare problems) early on but wax to full phase by the 12th, so shouldn’t be too much trouble until about the 9th.

      • Thanks,

        We will be traveling through the fjords up to Kirkenes during that time so we will be above 66/70 degrees. Hopefully it will be clear!


        • Jeff,
          That’s right up to the Arctic Circle. Since it will nearly be summer, you’ll be too far north to see the aurora. From about 66 degrees north on June 21 the sun will be up all night long (midnight sun). Since you’ll get up to 70, it will be up all night long when you’re there in early June. From 60 degrees north, the best you’ll do is bright twilight, so unless the aurora’s a bright one, unfortunately you won’t see it. Still, what a wonderful thing to see the midnight sun!

          • Ok.
            It will be wonderful to see! Will just have to go back to see the aurora!!!!

            thank you again!!! Much more helpful that just reading bout it and hoping to gleen the correct information.

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