Thursday, May 14, 2015

Midnight Sun Vs. Northern Lights

Midnight Sun Vs. Northern Lights
A high-speed solar wind stream is sparking geomagnetic storms around the poles. As a result, sky watchers who had given up hope of seeing auroras during the bright nights of northern summer are suddenly ... seeing them.
"Apparently the aurora-chasing season isn't quite over yet," reports Colin Tyler Bogucki of Eagle River, Alaska. "We had a nice display around 1:00-1:30 this morning outside the Eagle River Nature Center." It was visible over the glow of the Midnight Sun:

"The window of viewing opportunity is narrow right now, with only a few hours of semi-dark skies," says Bogucki. "I was wading in Eagle River here, shooting straight down the valley to the northwest. As you can see, the twilight is still glowing well after sunset."
"In just a matter of days," he adds, "the night sky will be too bright to auroras again until late summer." Famous last words? NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of geomagnetic storms on May 14th as the solar wind continues to blow.


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