Aurion Mission

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

M-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot 1263 produced an impulsive M3-class solar flare on August 8th at 1810 UT. In Falmouth, Maine, amateur astronomer John Stetson happened to be observing the sun and he caught the sunspot in mid-eruption:
"Perhaps we will get some more auroras this week," Stetson wrote hopefully. Alas, no. Although this eruption did hurl a CME into space, the plasma cloud does not appear to be heading for Earth. Further analysis could reverse this conclusion, however, so stay tuned for updates.
more images: from Andreas v. Rétyi of Coburg, Germany; from Dave Gradwell of Birr Ireland; from SDO in Earth orbit
WEEKEND AURORAS: A widespread display of auroras erupted late Friday, Aug. 5th, when a double-CME hit Earth's magnetic field and sparked a G4-category geomagnetic storm. Click on the image to view a time lapse video of the event recorded by Michael Ericsson on the shores of Tibbitt Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada:
"Although not the most intense auroras I've ever seen, this one is definitely up there on my favorites list," he says.
The show was not restricted to Canada. Northern Lights spilled across the border into the United States as far south as Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska. (Note: The faint red lights photographed in Nebraska are typical of low-latitude auroras during major geomagnetic storms.) Observers in Europe as far south as England, Germany and Poland also witnessed a fine display. Browse the gallery for more examples.
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