July 19, 2022

A Beautiful Aurora Last Night: Another May Be On the Way

 One of the advantages of residing in the northern portion of the U.S. is that occasionally we can view an aurora.

And a beautiful one occurred last night, shown dramatically by the cameras at Greg Johnson's Skunk Bay Weather site in the northern part of the Kitsap Peninsula.


Here is a video of it for your viewing pleasure.


This event was associated with a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the sun several days ago, which reached earth's orbit last night.  As a result, the Kp geomagnetic activity index climbed to around 5 (see plot below).  That is often high enough to get an auroral display around here.  It is still around 4.


The interaction of particles from the sun and the earth's upper atmosphere and magnetic field produces a "donut" shaped areas of auroral activity, as illustrated by the short-term forecast of what happened last night.


Disappointed about missing this celestial show?

Don't worry, you may have another chance soon!  

Another CME occurred and the latest NOAA Space Weather Forecast is for later tomorrow and Thursday.


Finally, we are now in Solar Cycle 25, which has turned out to be more active than predicted (see below).  No wonder we are getting some good displays from an increasingly active sun!

The red line is the predicted.




1 comment:

  1. Higher sunspot activity than expected? Probably climate change.

    ReplyDelete

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