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Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 10/01/2012

Solar storm produces northern lights in Maryland


Northern lights as photographed Sunday evening (September 30) in New Market, Maryland ( George Varros via SpaceWeather.com )
A long filament of solar material erupted into space (also known as a coronal mass ejection) September 27, triggering a strong geomagnetic storm on earth Sunday.

This geomagnetic storm produced aurora as far south as Maryland, Ohio and Illinois according to SpaceWeather.com

“Although this storm got off to a slow start, stronger magnetic structure ultimately came, leading to storm levels slightly higher than initially predicted,” reports NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

The image above was photographed in New Market, Maryland.

George Varros, who captured this rare appearance of the northern lights so far south, writes on SpaceWeather.com they were not viewable with the naked eye, but only through a long camera exposure.

Related: Northern lights (aurora) captured in eastern Maryland

The aurora were much more vivid north of the U.S. border. In Calgary, photographer Gail Foster describes the scene:

The lights were very fast moving, bright colours, even with the full moon, lasting about two hours.


The northern lights as photographed at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada near Calgary (Gail Foster via SpaceWeather.com)

NOAA’s SWPC says the storm is now subsiding.

“....geomagnetic activity has been on the decline as the CME [coronal mass ejection] influence has continued to weaken,” NOAA writes. “No further significant activity is expected at this time but stay tuned for updates.”

By  |  12:48 PM ET, 10/01/2012

Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Space

 
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