Yes, The Aurora Showed Up!

The aurora tried to show last night (Oct. 24) before the clouds had their way. This view from 10:15 p.m. shows how clouds can add a lot to a night scene except when they cover the entire sky! Bob King

Trifecta achieved! Last night I drove north of my home to see the aurora that was forecast. As soon as I got out of the car, there it was! A big glow across the bottom half of the northern sky partially hidden by a swath of clouds. I casually set up camera and tripod and began to photograph when the cloud bank inflated like a balloon and quickly covered the entire northern sky. I only had time to make a few exposures.

Clear skies had been forecast all night, but like the aurora, the weather can surprise. Checking the stats I see the northern lights were active the entire night, expanding from a minor to moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm during the early morning hours. Maybe you saw them — I hope so. Often we’ll get two nights of activity in a row though that’s unlikely this time. The forecast calls for no storms tonight though the numbers indicate that skywatchers living along the northern border of the U.S. and southern Canada might still see a lingering glow.

Just a reminder again to watch for a thin dawn crescent tomorrow morning in the east — a sublime sight!

** Update 6:30 p.m. CDT: The latest forecast now calls for a minor storm tonight similar to last night.

4 Responses

  1. Edward M Boll

    I did not finish my post. As I was saying, I will never forget the multi colored Northern Lights Display on the morning of October 22, 1989. Ferns folks have passed away so we will be moving out to their farm this Fall. Hopefully I can see the lights again. On another matter, if my calculations are correct 2019Q4 Borisov passed within 1 degree of Regulus the morning of Oct 22.

    1. astrobob

      Edward,
      I think you’re right about that. I’m hoping to see Borisov in December. Crossing my fingers it’s 14 mag. or perhaps a bit better.

    1. astrobob

      Hi Peter,
      Scroll to the list of links on my blog. It’s at the bottom on your phone or off to the side on a laptop. You’ll find links for receiving free 3-times-a-day geomagnetic (auroral) forecasts.

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