December 13, 2006

Just another meteor shower, you say? Perhaps not. This solar Coronal Mass Ejection (last night) was pointed almost directly at our Pale Blue Dot. A Middle Latitude Aurora Warning has been issued meaning that the Northern Lights may be seen as far south as Northern California, Kansas, Southern Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina (U.S.) and France, Northern Italy, Poland, Central Russia on the east side of the pond. Southern Hemisphere watchers should be alert as New Zealand and Southern Australia may see periods of activity.

The possiblity of aurora pics COMBINED with meteors is a rare event. Check out the gorgeous Aurora Galleries on (the ones with multiple pages are the biggies!)

  • HIGH RISK PERIOD: 14 DECEMBER (UTC DAYS) beginning at Midnight (00 UTC) or 8:00 PM CST.
  • AuroraWatch Real-time Activity. This should start to take off around the beginning of the warning time (above).
  • And yes. Yes I am a nerd.
  • And excellently so. Approved. *whump!* and thanks!
  • This is no meteor shower. This is an ATTACK!
  • Is it so wrong that I wish for such a space weather event that I can see Aurora like those in the galleries from my Los Angeles abode, even knowing full well the incredible expense at repairing all the beat up satellites?
  • Sigh. And it is going to be overcast and rainy here for the next week.
  • Do I need special 3d glasses?
  • Can we observe with our naked eyeballs or do we have to practice telescopophilia in order to watch the sun's nocturnal emissions?
  • Yea, Fim, it's going to be soggy here, too. I want me some shiny lights.
  • Not sure if your question was serious, Libertarian, but naked eye will be just fine for both Aurora Borealis and meteors. Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but generally you want to be looking the radiant (if you draw a line back from every Geminid meteor, you would find that they intersect at the radiant point (in the constellation Gemini). I've only seen the Northern Lights from Nebraska 2 or 3 times, but in each case they only appeared WHITE to my dark-adapted naked eyes. Film (time exposure) showed greens to pinks, however. Got me a tripod and a couple rolls of ISO 1600 for tonight! (Yes, I'm still in the Dark Ages shooting film.
  • ^. . .looking towards the radiant. . .
  • *cues the Star Gazer theme music* Nerds rock. *checks the local weather forecast and cries*
  • I'm scared. Hold me.
  • I'm Scared Hold Me™, I'm Scared®, and the Chymie: I'm Scared® action figures are all property of Matell® Toys, Inc., all rights restricted.
  • OooOOoooOOOooooOOooO How far south in Straya do you have to be to see 'em? I missed Halley's Comet way back when, I was too young and tired to work out what my folks were ponting at in the night sky.
  • I dunno, King Island?
  • I think I saved the Ozarks from the perils of the Northern Lights once again. Based on the Scientific theory that they result from an interaction of the solar magnetosphere and the Earth's, I tape magnets around my waist and go outside, nude, and pray to St. Pareidolia, asking her to suppress the magnetic radiations. This has worked 99.99% of the time. Only once in the past thirty years have the lights appeared after one of my prayers and the one manifestation was, obviously, the famous "exception which proves the rule". (I also have been 100% successful if preventing the dragon from eating the moon during eclipses by doing my self-explanatory moon prayer.)
  • We can only thank you for your sterling efforts Libertarian, even as we modestly avert our gaze.
  • Thanks for the heads-up, mecurious. Auroras are really too good to miss. There's nothing, really nothing like a whomping big fireball tearing across the sky overhead so close you can hear it making a sound like a knife through silk. Gives a wee human a sense of scale, know what I mean? I am also grateful to feel safe knowing that Libertarian is out there somewhere with all those magnets. I'm picturing them as cheery, colorful refrigerator magnets, an image almost as interesting as the promised sky action.
  • *snatches a couple of shots for his desktop*
  • Looks like last night was overly optimistic. The CME hit at around 1400 UT and aurora are now being reported in Europe.
  • Nice aurora gallery for Dec. 2006 now started at I'm taking my film in to be developed now. (Yes, I'm in the Dark Ages). Saw quite a show last night between 11 pm and 1 am local time. Another x-flare has erupted and may re-energize things in 24 hours or so. Hope others got to see something as well. Still a lot of Geminid meteors last night, as well. My nephew, who has lived int he "big city" of Omaha all his life was just impressed to see stars under dark skies. : )
  • Light pollution is a much misunderstood problem. Nuclear waste must be addressed, then water contamination, then - no, wait, global warming then nuclear then water - err air - well, water or air whichever then energy - no wait dang, ok global warming, right? then energy then water . . shit okay wait global warming, factory farming, nuclear, . . oh poop.
  • Doubt that anybody will see this, but I have a few favorites of the pics I took on the night of Dec. 14/15 from Nebraska: A friend took a few from Lincoln, NE that you can see here: The spaceweather aurora gallery for this storm can be seen here:
  • forgot to make them links, sorry
  • Nice pictures, mecurious, thanks for posting. I saw the aurora once, when I was in Scotland, but nothing as impressive as this. Just a few wispy green tendrils in the sky.