(UPDATED Sept. 20) A combination of coronal holes, minor CMEs (coronal mass ejections) and a good helping of solar wind shook up Earth’s magnetic environment tonight and will again Sunday night. Minor G1 storm conditions were forecast (Kp=5) for both nights, but in this wee hours this morning (Sept. 20), conditions quickly went from minor to major storm — G1 to G3 — with fine pillars of mostly green aurora visible across the Upper Midwest.
Whenever seeking aurora, keep watch on the northern sky for low arcs and small, flame-like rays. Be sure you’re well away from town, preferably north of it, and allow your eyes 10-15 minutes to adapt to the darkness. We’ll have some moonlight tonight but not enough to spoil the darkness. Good luck!