Aurora Won’t Quit, Returns For Fourth Night

Multiple low arcs and a few nice rays lit up the northern sky around 11:30 Thursday night. Credit: Bob King

Since Monday night, we’ve had one display of northern lights after another. Nothing sky-climbing-grand but quite respectable in a Downton Abbey sort of way. Tonight for instance, a few faint glows and patches flickered on and off in the northern sky in Cassiopeia and Cepheus. Among the faintest aurorae I’d ever seen, I didn’t think it enough to get out the word. Then, just as I was headed for bed, an obvious green glow welled up between the bare March trees.

The auroral around midnight Thursday night-Friday morning. Notice how it brushes the top of northern Minnesota and North Dakota. Credit: NOAA

I got in the car for a quick trip to an open northern sky to catch a fine little show around 11:30. It’s still happening now (midnight March 30-31) in the lower half of the northern sky. A few pillars, multiple low arcs. Here are a couple photos and the current auroral oval. Just click the image to see a current one.

Another view of Thursday night’s northern lights. Both the green and red colors are caused by solar wind electrons striking oxygen atoms in the upper atmosphere. Credit: Bob King