On A Roll! More Aurora Expected Tonight Sept. 12

David and Lydia Ricard of Washburn, Wis. watch one of the strange auroral "sausages" in the northeastern sky last night Sept. 11, 2015. Credit: Bob King
David and Lydia Ricard of Washburn, Wis. watch one of the strange auroral “sausages” in the northeastern sky last night Sept. 11, 2015. Credit: Bob King

As forecast, the northern lights returned last night. Instead of the typical arc, they appeared as two smoky “sausages” — one in the northeastern sky and the other in the north — about 20° above the horizon. Over several hours, the sausages pulsed in brightness like a slow-beating heart while gradually lengthening until they met around midnight in a continuous arc. Clustered pillars of light reached toward the arc from the northern horizon now and again throughout the night.

Clouds are silhouetted against a sweet set of rays reaching up from the northern horizon last night from Town of Scott, Wis. Credit: Bob King
Clouds are silhouetted against a sweet set of rays reaching up from the northern horizon last night from Town of Scott, Wis. Credit: Bob King
Two patches of pulsating, green aurora stretched overnight until meeting in an arc (below). Credit: Bob King
Two patches of pulsating, green aurora stretched overnight until meeting in an arc (below). Credit: Bob King

Not what you’d call a spectacular show, it was a different sort of aurora, a type less often seen. What about tonight? We have good news again! NOAA space weather experts predict a moderate storm (G2) during the early part of the evening over the eastern half of the U.S. that will grade down to a minor or G1 storm overnight.

The complete arc with silhouetted silo around 1 a.m. this morning. Credit:  Bob King
The complete arc with silhouetted silo around 1 a.m. this morning. Credit: Bob King

So be sure to watch for activity starting around the end of twilight tonight or around 9 p.m. onward.