Northern Lights and a Full Moon

The good news is the northern lights should be good the next couple of nights. The bad news is it’s right around the full moon so the sky isn’t very dark. It’s a good idea to to keep your eye on the sky just in case.

GEOMAGNETIC STORMS UNDERWAY: G1-class geomagnetic storms are underway around the Arctic Circle on Oct. 16th as Earth enters a stream of very fast moving solar wind.  Veteran observers in Sweden are reporting one of the best displays in recent memory as “massive auroras” dance across the sky.  Visit Spaceweather.com for updates about the ongoing light show.

WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU MIX AURORAS WITH MOONLIGHT? Some photographers say that bright moonlight is a real nuisance when you are trying to record faint auroras. Jim Schnortz of Grand Portage, MN, disagrees. In fact, he says, “it’s an awesome combination.” He photographed the mixture during a geomagnetic storm on Oct 13th:

Moonlight not only lit up the landscape, providing a beautiful foreground for the auroras overhead, but also produced a lovely moonbow (lunar rainbow) in the spray of the falls.

Schnortz’s photo settings are noted here. Write them down! Auroras and moonlight may be mixing again tonight as Earth enters a high-speed stream of solar wind. NOAA forecasters say there is a 30% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Oct. 16th–the same type of storm underway in the photo above.

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