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FIRST STRIKE: The first of several CMEs en route to Earth struck our planet's magnetic field on Sept. 9th around 1130UT. The impact sparked a strong (Kp=7) geomagnetic storm, which is now subsiding. Last night Northern Lights were spotted in the United States as far south as Washington, Wisconsin, Michigan, Vermont, Montana, Maine, Minnesota and North Dakota. More geomagnetic activity could be in the offing as one or two more CMEs approach. Stay tuned. Aurora alerts: text, voice.
"After the outbursts of sunspot 1283 hurled several CMEs toward Earth, we expected quite some auroras in the arctic part of Norway," Frank Olsen of Tromsø. "We were not disappointed." He snapped this picture just after local midnight on Sept. 10th:
"This was the first strike," says Olsen, "and we expect more for the rest of the weekend."
more images: from Yuichi Takasaka of Prelude Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada; from Jónína Óskarsdóttir of Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland; from Bob Johnson of Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada; from Mike Conlan of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; from Laffen Jensen of Stjordal, Trondheim, Norway; from Peter Rosén of Central Stockholm, Sweden; from Thorbjorn Haagensen of Tisnes, Troms, Norway; from Chad Blakley of Abisko National Park, Sweden; from Fredrik Holm of Reykjavik, Iceland; from Hanneke Luijting of Tromsø, Norway; from Frank Martin Ingilæ of Tana, Finnmark, Norway;
TODAY's BONUS SHOTS: Launch of GRAIL from Ben Cooper of Cape Canaveral, Florida; Wave Clouds from Steve Jamruszka of Glacier National Park, Montana; Sundogs from Piet Berger of Simpelveld, the Netherlands;
SUNSPOT CONJUNCTION: A new sunspot (AR1289) is growing rapidly in the sun's eastern hemisphere. The International Space Station drew attention to it this morning when the solar-paneled spacecraft flew almost directly in front of the sunspot's dark core:
Maximilian Teodorescu took the picture from Magurele, Romania. "The space station made a very nice couplet with sunspot AR1289," he says. "This was the second ISS transit of the sun in three days for my location."
Readers, would like to try photographing your own ISS-sunspot conjunctions? Transit predictions are available from Calsky.com. And, of course, you'll need a solar telescope.
more images: from Theo Ramakers of Ruthlege, GA
September 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004]