Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Possible Aurora Tonight

UPDATE: A solar model in Belgium is now forecasting a Kp of 6.

If you're in a northernly latitude, you might look for the northern lights in tonight's sky. A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME -- a big stew of protons and electrons spit out from the Sun) hit the Earth at about 1:30 pm EDT today, and another is on its way. Conditions are fair, solar scientists say.

Here's an auroral forecast. This storm currently has a Planetary Index (Kp) of about 5, so the site predicts a possible auroral viewing north of curve from Calgary, to northern Minnesota, to Halifax. Hardly any of the U.S. But that might change.

I've seen the northern lights only once, in New Hampshire, on a summer night around 1900 2000. It wasn't until about 1 am that they showed up, towards the north, and were whitish, like a thin lacy curtain fluttering in the sky. I hope someday to see them in their full glory. I heard they were prominently visible in NH about 10 years earlier, full swaths of green and red, and said to be quite spectacular.

PS: Sorry to demonstrate a Northern Hempisphere bias here. I don't have any information/sites about the potential for southern lights.

1 comment:

tttallis said...

>...on a summer night around 1900.

You must be the world's oldest blogger :)