The Aurora Reached Arizona Last Night!

September 12th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

As predicted, the first of two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun produced some good aurora displays last night, as far south as Arizona:

Aurora in Arizona, taken by Chris Schur, Sept. 11, 2014.

Aurora in Arizona, taken by Chris Schur, Sept. 11, 2014.


This was taken about the time the NOAA-15 satellite observed a peak activity level of “10” over the Northern Hemisphere.

Here’s a nice photo from Minnesota:

Aurora seen in Minnesota, by Matthew Moses, Sept. 12, 2014.

Aurora seen in Minnesota, by Matthew Moses, Sept. 12, 2014.

And, where the aurora always seems to be burning up the sky…Fairbanks, Alaska:

Aurora over Fairbanks, Alaska, by J.N. Hall, Sept. 12, 2014.

Aurora over Fairbanks, Alaska, by J.N. Hall, Sept. 12, 2014.

From Finland:

Sept. 12, 2014 aurora in Muonio, Finland, taken by Mika Wist.

Sept. 12, 2014 aurora in Muonio, Finland, taken by Mika Wist.

And another one from Minnesota (uff da!):

Almelund, MN aurora display, Sept. 12, 2014, by Michael Aguirre.

Almelund, MN aurora display, Sept. 12, 2014, by Michael Aguirre.

Finally, here’s the source of the CME, sunspot 2158, as photographed by Sergio Castillo a day after it unleashed the “storm”:

Sunspot 2158, photo by Sergio Castillo, Sept. 11, 2014.

Sunspot 2158, photo by Sergio Castillo, Sept. 11, 2014.

Photos courtesy of Spaceweather.com Realtime Image Gallery.

Hopefully, with the second CME event storm arriving today, there could be another good display tonight.


17 Responses to “The Aurora Reached Arizona Last Night!”

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  1. Doug says:

    sorry, Doug, but you are beginning to bore me. Besides, you are waaay OT. -Roy

  2. So far only k 5 not very strong and only for 6 hours in duration. I still think we will not exceed k 6 for this event.

    Solar prolonged minimum conditions over the long haul are alive and well.

    • well, Salvatore, NOAA just issued a K = 6 alert:

      Space Weather Message Code: WARK06
      Serial Number: 246
      Issue Time: 2014 Sep 12 1535 UTC

      WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected
      Valid From: 2014 Sep 12 1545 UTC
      Valid To: 2014 Sep 13 0900 UTC
      Warning Condition: Onset
      NOAA Scale: G2 – Moderate

      NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
      http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales

      Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
      Induced Currents – Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
      Spacecraft – Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
      Radio – HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
      Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

  3. c’mon guys, can’t we enjoy the beauty without making everything about global warming?

  4. Roy I said K 6. I said I don’t think it will exceed K6. See earlier post.

  5. Ccmon guys, cant we enjoy the beauty without making everything about global

    I agree.

  6. George says:

    Do you know where in Arizona that photo was taken? Curious if it made it to my neighborhood!

  7. Groty says:

    Terrific photos – unusual colors, settings, and vantage points.

    Glad I dropped by.

  8. ren says:

    This is a decrease in GCR almost 9%. There will be confusion in the weather.
    http://www.bartol.udel.edu/~pyle/TheSpnPlot.gif

  9. rah says:

    Team drove to Nebraska. After delivering and picking up in Seward and then Lincoln started heading back towards Anderson, IN at 20:00. Looked for the aurora last night while traveling back east on I-80 across Iowa and had no luck. Still too cloudy.

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  11. JohnKl says:

    Hi Roy,

    Thank you for the aurora pic’s. I’m using one for my desktop. Great stuff!

    Have a great day!

  12. stephen says:

    >Dr. Spencer knows about the phrase Uff-da

    I knew I liked you for a reason.

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