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Ongoing Chance of Northern (or Southern) Lights

16 Jul 2017, 21:09 UTC
Ongoing Chance of Northern (or Southern) Lights
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As forecast, the cloud of particles from Friday’s solar flare (the “coronal mass emission”, or “CME”) arrived at our planet a few hours after my last post, early in the morning New York time. If you’d like to know how I knew that it had reached Earth, and how I know what’s going on now, scroll down to the end of this post and I’ll show you the data I was following, which is publicly available at all times.
So far the resulting auroras have stayed fairly far north, and so I haven’t seen any — though they were apparently seen last night in Washington and Wyoming, and presumably easily seen in Canada and Alaska. [Caution: sometimes when people say they’ve been “seen”, they don’t quite mean that; I often see lovely photos of aurora that were only visible to a medium-exposure camera shot, not to the naked eye.] Or rather, I should say that the auroras have stayed fairly close to the Earth’s poles; they were also seen in New Zealand.
Russia and Europe have a good opportunity this evening. As for the U.S.? The storm in the Earth’s magnetic field is still going on, so tonight is still ...

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