October 5, 2000 Aurora Gallery
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Summary: NASA's ACE spacecraft recorded an interplanetary shock wave on October 5th at 0240 UT when the solar wind velocity soared from 360 to 460 km/s in less than one minute. The disturbance hit Earth's magnetosphere about 45 minutes later. Nighttime skywatchers across the northern tier of US states (as far south as latitude 43 degrees) and in Canada spotted red and green-colored aurora until daybreak. The shock wave was probably the leading edge of a coronal mass ejection that left the Sun on Oct. 2nd [536 kb animation].

Unless otherwise stated, all images are copyrighted by the photographers.

  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Mark L. Koopsen, near Mt. Baker, WA  #1, #2, #3 These dazzling images were captured by the father-son team of Mark (KF7OO) and Mark Koopsen (WI7V). Photo details: Cannon AE-1camera, 50mm lens, 200ASA print film. f-1.8, 5sec exp

Benjamin Bray, three miles NW of Deer Park, WA  #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 B. Bray: "A very impressive display on Oct. 5th prompted these five pictures, taken between 11:00 pm PST and 12:00 am PST. It was my first time [seeing] red aurora, and the entire display was better than the last one I saw on Aug. 12th. " Photo details: Kodak 400 film, 1.8 fstop, 10-20 second exposures.

Wade Clark, near Hamilton, WA  #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 Image #1 shows Jupiter, Saturn, the Pleiades and fiery Aldebaran peeking through the aurora. Says Wade Clark: "The display was incredible! Green rayed arcs, then bands, with beautiful reds and greens! The brightness and motion of the aurora was breath taking!! Here in Washington State the major portion of the display lasted from about 10 pm local time (05:00 UTC) until about 12:30 am (07:30 UTC)." Photo details: Fuji NHG II 800 speed color negative film.

Ian Law, 10 miles west of Glasgow, Scotland.  #1 This image was cptured at 11:33pm local time. Photo details: Olympus OM10 Camera & 50mm lens; Kodak colour gold 200 speed film.

Garth Arsenault, Hampshire, Prince Edward Island, Canada #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 The Big Dipper appears near the right-hand edge of image #1. Photo details: Canon AT-1, 28mm lens with aperture wide open, using Fuji Super 400. Exposures ranged from 20-90 seconds.

Sherry Buttnor, Victoria, BC, Canada  #1, #2, #3 Image #3 shows a vivid green colored "corona" directly over the photographer. Photo details: Fuji 400 film, Nikon FE camera w/ 50mm lens set to f/2.8. Exposure time, 10s.

What the NOAA Space Environment Center said about the storm:

Geophysical Activity Summary 04/2100Z to 05/2100Z: The geomagnetic field ranged from active to severe storm levels (estimated Kp of 7). A strong shock was observed at the ACE spacecraft at 0241Z, and was followed by transient flow with enhanced density, speed, and magnetic fields. Major to severe storming at all latitudes began after 0300Z. There were two intervals of strongly negative Bz: the first was from 0504-0543Z with Bz values reaching -27 nT and the second was from 0958-1119Z with Bz values reaching -23 nT. Severe (estimated Kp of 7) levels were seen at high latitudes from 0300-1500Z and mid-latitudes also attained the K=7 level from 0600-0900Z. The disturbance appeared to be subsiding during the last three hours of the day.  



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