Ouch! Missed a great aurora this morning. The potential was there late yesterday afternoon when the magnetic field bundled with the solar wind tilted south and hooked into Earth’s magnetic domain. Activity increased but nothing was visible here in Duluth up till midnight. Moonlight may have washed out any early, low aurora present.
That all changed sometime around 1 a.m. right about the time I entered dreamland. Others who stayed up late reported lots of red rays visible even from moderately light-polluted locations:
“1:45 am. slight calm after 45 mins of intense displays with lots of red showing even in my semi-urban location,” said reader Paul Contant of Penticton, British Columbia, Canada.
Auroras were seen all the way to the zenith throughout the morning hours as the Kp index, an indicator of magnetic activity high overhead, surged to ‘6’ spawning a G2 moderate magnetic storm.
This morning’s aurora was a complete surprise. Mostly quiet conditions were expected and still are. NOAA’s space weather center calls for only a small chance for auroras tonight but you better believe I’ll be on the lookout. Let us know if you see anything, too.