Northern Lights put on dazzling display over Puget Sound region
Wow! What an incredible show!
Not since the great Mother's Day Northern Lights display last May have the Northern Lights been so bright around Western Washington. Many times cameras will pick them up, but they're difficult to see with the naked eye this far south.
Not so, Saturday night! Reports were in from all over the region -- and even reports they were visible in Seattle despite the city lights! But get out into the rural darkness and the show was even more impressive.
Here's what the show looked like from Hansville from SkunkBayWeather.com's Greg Johnson who now has a DSLR camera up and running on clear nights:
And here's from Rakan Alduaij in Anacortes:
And Meg McDonald of Wild Northwest Beauty Photography's work:
According to SpaceWeather.com, a solar flare hit the Earth's magnetic field on Friday, at first not really doing much of anything. But as the planet passed through the wake of the flare, "energetic particles poured through a crack in Earth's magnetosphere, sparking strong G3-class geomagnetic storms and bright auroras."
SpaceWeather.com says Northern Lights were visible as far south as California and Arizona!
Here's Port Angeles' show, courtesy of Jay Cline.
It was near perfect conditions to see the aurora around here -- a crystal clear night, and just a sliver of a moon. Moderately warm conditions coming off an 86 degree day didn't hurt either. The only way it could have been even better was had it happened earlier in the year. Near summertime are the worst time for auroras here only because we have such a short period of total darkness. Those in Alaska probably missed much of the show because it's not really getting dark there right now as we approach the summer solstice.
But I'll bet the photographers would take the warmer evening in exchange for losing an hour or two of the show on the front and back end. It looks like they got plenty as it was!
The storm is subsiding now so the show is essentially over. Hopefully the sun can dish out another well-timed display during more clear nights this summer.