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Friday, 6 August 2010

Northern Lights: Coronal mass ejection hits Earth's magnetic field, sparks geomagnetic storm

 

Wed, 04 Aug 2010 07:31 EDT

A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on August 3rd at 1740 UT. The impact sparked a G2-class geomagnetic storm that lasted nearly 12 hours--time enough for auroras to spread all the way from Europe to North America. Shawn Malone of Marquette, Michigan, photographed this display over Lake Superior:

© Shawn Malone

"The brightness was nice and there were quite a few purple spikes [dancing out of] the green arc below," says Malone. "A 30 second exposure with my Canon 5D Mark II really brought out the colors."
"Woohoo!" exclaims Canadian photographer Olivier Du Tre of Cochrane, Alberta. "I've been dreaming about seeing auroras since I was a boy and last night I finally did. I jumped up and down like a little kid when I saw that green stuff on my camera's LCD screen. They beamed right through the clouds":

© Shawn Malone

With the possible arrival of a second CME on August 4th, tonight might be even better than last night. Imagine that as you browse the gallery:

© Derek Weston
St Germain, Wisconsin, Aug. 3, 2010

© Robert Snache
Rama, Ontario, Aug. 4, 2010

© Jesper Grønne
Denmark, Aug. 4, 2010

© Julius Jahre Sætre
Aug. 4, 2010, Hvasser, Vestfold, Norway

© Martin Wagner
Aug. 3, 2010, Sonnenbuehl-Genkingen, Germany

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