Earth's magnetic field has been strongly disturbed since approximately 1300 UT on Sept. 26th when a CME hit our planet. The impact strongly compressed
the magnetosphere, exposing geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma, and ignited auroras around both poles.
....auroras have been sighted in New York, South Dakota, and Maine. More states will surely join the list as the night unfolds.
Below are the areas projected to have a possible view of the auroras
To see if you can view the lights, take a look towards the north. Typically the best time to view is around midnight, although it is possible to see
lights throughout the night. Chances are good that there will be more than one opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis over the next weeks and months
as we're entering an active solar cycle.
Geomagnetic K-Indices tend to be a good measures of whether or not one will be able to see any auroras. The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
publishes these and updates them regularly here. If you see anything over six on the scale,
relative to your location (for instance, I live in Pennsylvania, so it would make sense for me to pay attention to the Fredericksburg, Va. K-Index),
take a look outside and see if you can see anything.
Interesting view of the Aurora Borealis from the ISS:
Stay tuned, NASA predicts that we'll see "the strongest Northern Lights activity in 50 years" over the next year or so.
Here's an animation of the model SWPC used to accurately forecast the Coronal Mass Ejection's (CME) arrival. The model, known as WSA-Enlil shows a
view from above the north poles of the Sun and Earth, with the Sun shown as a yellow circle and the Earth as a green circle. The animation shows where
density is high (as in the CME) in the colors of red, white and black, and where density is low (as in the background solar wind) in colors of blue
and green. The CME is the curved, high density structure that transits from the Sun to the Earth. From the animation, it is clear we missed the center
of the CME.
i missed them do to rain the sky was brighter to the north than normal. I found it strange that everyone on the new madrid fault saw the northern
lights. Something made me think northern light are a precurser to a quake but couldn't find any info to back up the claim. doubt there will be one
because it would of happend already. I heard people in VA could see it which i find unbelievable. I wonder how far south it was seen. The fact that
the last 5 days there where no reports of a earth bound solar flare and then intence northern lights don't make much sense. Is there more going on or
did nasa fall asleep at the computer.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.