August 2011

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  Summary: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on August 5th, sparking one of the strongest geomagnetic storms in years. See also July 2011.  
  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Lance Taylor,
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Aug. 6, 2011
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

I headed out to Cooking Lake Blackfoot area near Edmonton, AB to try out my new AstroTrac unit for the very first time. Instead, I spent most of the night taking Northern photos. It was the most impressive display I've seen in years. Observed from 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM and the sky was pulsing from horizon to horizon in every direction. We watched Juipter rise through the glowing sky, and even the ISS made a pass overhead. After the Geomagnetic storm we were then treated to a fantastic thunderstorm with a freakish amount of ground strike lightning in it. An amazing and memorable night of observing indeed.

Greg Kretovic,
Marquette, Michigan - Upper Peninsula
Aug. 6, 2011
#1, #2, #3, more

It was amazing seeing them move from the Lake Superior horizon to over head.

Olivier Du Tré,
Cochrane, Alberta, CANADA
Aug. 6, 2011
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

Was all excited through yesterday. I was looking at the data and could not believe what I was seeing. Going out around 10:45pm driving just minutes from my house, the aurora sparked up. I could see it streaking till almost overhead. I knew this was going to be special. As I came to my dark spot and set up the gear I stood there in awe and wondering 'how the heck I would get all of that in'. Streamers till the zenith. A display almost 150 degrees wide. I quickly decided to move to a better spot (with no overhanging power cables). Coming there I started shooting. It was the first time I saw auroras overhead. At the biggest about 60% of the sky was dancing. Curtains, flickering against the milky way. Pulsating. Crazy. I went home around 3 (and 750 shots later). The aurora were still going. But ground fog made me pack up. AWESOME NIGHT!

John Stetson,
Sebago Lake, Maine
Aug. 5, 2011
#1, #2

M-class flare on Wednesday and the aurora on Friday

Ray Stinson NPS Astro-VIP,
St Mary Visitor Center, Glacier NP and Chief Mountain at Glacier NP in Montana
Aug. 5, 2011
#1, #2, #3, #4

Photos taken at Glacier National Park the night of 5 August 2011. Canon T1i 6400 ISO and 20 seconds exposure

Agnieszka and Friedrich Deters,
Clearwater, Minnesota, USA
Aug. 6, 2011
#1, #2

With thunder storms in the area, we had to travel north to find enough clear skies so we could look for the northern lights. The trip paid off! The expression on our faces as we spotted the Northern Lights for the first time through the clouds was emotional. They looked like green pillars poking through the clouds, so we found the first dark spot we could to take photos. Photo details: Rebel XT at 1600 ISO, 20 sec shots. One is a panoramic taken with three shots.

R Donner,
Suomi, Minnesota
Aug. 5, 2011
#1, #2

Great night of watching until all too soon it clouded over. Panasonic Lumix FZ35.

more images: from Paul deBruyn of Ilford, Northern Manitoba, Canada; from Thomas Cakalic near Boise, Idaho; from Dirk Miller near Gordon, Wisconsin; from Lusine Akopyan of Thompson, MB, Canada; from Liem Bahneman of Cle Elum. Washington; from Chris Attrell of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan; from Greg Scratchley of Edmonton Alberta, Canada (Blackfoot Darksite) ; from Adrien Lebon of Sacré coeur de Marie, Quebec; from Gordon Mackie of Thurso, Caithness, Scotland;