ESA Medialab

Aurora Watch: A Mighty Wind Comes Our Way

Call it a gale of subatomic proportions. Once again, a gaping hole in the sun’s corona has unleashed a wind of electrons and protons bundled with magnetic energy toward the Earth. The blast touched off a minor geomagnetic storm earlier this morning with spillover expected tonight. After a lull, storming is expected to resume tomorrow morning (Sept.…
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Aurora Sept. 19, 2016. Credit: Bob King

Aurora Right On Schedule Tonight

I’m always tickled and amazed when an aurora is forecast, and it happens exactly at the predicted time. So it was earlier tonight and may still be now. Although the waning gibbous moon is finally climbing above the horizon, I could still see a foggy greenish rainbow splayed across the northern sky in despite moonlight. This aurora,…
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A colorful aurora photographed in early fall. Credit: Bob King

Two Days Before Fall, The Aurora May Come Knocking

It’s been a while. No northern lights in the neighborhood for a couple weeks at least. That could change tomorrow evening (Sept. 19) when the wind blowing from a solar coronal hole wafts past Earth. If the magnetic direction of that wind points south — just like the south pole of a magnet — it…
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View to the east showing lots of active rays or pillars. My wide-angle lens was only wide enough to cover 1/3 of the display at a time. Credit: Bob King

Auroras Expected Sat. Night / AZ Fireball Update

Get ready for stormy weather. Zillions of sub-microscopic electrons and protons from a solar coronal hole are expected to impact Earth’s magnetic domain beginning sometime tomorrow afternoon. Space weather forecasters are calling for moderate storm conditions through about 10 p.m. (CDT) Saturday evening followed by a return to minor storm from 10 till 1 a.m. Based…
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Sunspot #2546 rounds the sun's eastern limb bigger than Earth in this photo taken earlier today by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit: NASA

Cyclopean Sunspot Rolls Into View

In ancient Greek mythology, a Cyclops was a member of an ancient race of giants, each with only a single in the middle of his forehead. A new large sunspot feels like the return of this ancient strain as it rounds the limb and comes into clear view this week. I spotted it – excuse the pun – today…
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