Johnny-Come-Lately Aurora Still A Thrill

The aurora put on a modest display Thursday night – Friday morning March 15-16 with multiple low arcs in the northern sky and a few faint rays except for this beauty which lit up like a match around 10:50 p.m. Details: f/2.8, ISO 1250, 24 mm lens and 25 second exposure. Bob King

Night before last. Nothing. Then tonight, the aurora snuck up behind us around 10 o’clock — a whisper of a glow low in the north. Within 15 minutes it evolved into single arc, then two concentric arcs. When those arcs brightened and rose in altitude, I knew rays would soon be on the way. True that. As the eastern end of the arc faded, faint, soft rays appeared above it and slowly marched to the west. Most were dim with the exception of a single, sharp-edged, bright streak (photo above) that stood above the arc for less than a minute before fading. It looked amazing!

Look at those lovely layered arcs just above the northern horizon. This was the scene before the ray breakout. Bob King

About 11:15 p.m. CDT, the northern lights dropped back to a faint glow but by 11:45 p.m. the arc had reformed. For all I know, we may see more or better activity in the early morning hours Friday. Checking the forecast, conditions look good for minor auroras from the northern states tomorrow night. Good luck – clear skies!

Thursday night’s active aurora finished up with a flourish! Bob King

2 Responses

    1. astrobob

      Hi BC,

      I see that solar max occurred in Feb. 1860, so Carrington happened just months before maximum. We’re still on our way to minimum — predictions give 2019-2020.

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