Beautiful aurora lights up the sky as far south as the upper Midwest


The aurora over Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan. (© 2014 Alan Dyer/amazingsky.net)

A beautiful display of colors lit up the sky on Tuesday night as the Aurora Borealis dipped as far south as Michigan and Wisconsin, and intense displays of northern lights were seen at higher latitudes.

This week’s heightened aurora activity is being caused by the arrival of a coronal mass ejection from August 22, with some interesting enhancements. Space.com explains:

As NOAA analysts predicted, the solar wind speed did not change much in response to the CME. However, the storm cloud contained a south-pointing magnetic field that opened a crack in Earth’s magnetosphere. Solar wind is pouring in to fuel the ongoing display.

The resulting aurora photos were fantastic, as seen on Flickr and social media:


Tuesday night’s aurora as seen from Mud Lake near Keller, Wash. (Rocky Raybell via Flickr)

The aurora from Methow Valley, Wash. on Tuesday. Photographer Ed Stockard writes, “We are near Twisp, WA. This is the Carlton Complex Fire site (Washington’s largest wildfire ever). Our night skies are finally clearing after 6 weeks of fire activity.” (Ed Stockard via Flickr)

This timelapse of Tuesday night’s aurora appears to have been shot from Saskatchewan, Canada.

 

The aurora was also cranking in the southern hemisphere:


The Aurora Australis was also active on Tuesday and Wednesday, as seen in Invercargill, New Zealand. (Eddie Griffiths via Flickr)

The Aurora Australis from Invercargill, New Zealand. (Eddie Griffiths via Flickr)
Angela Fritz is an atmospheric scientist and The Post's deputy weather editor.
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