Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spectacular Memorial Day Weekend Aurora Seen By Many as Far South as Nebraska, Cape Cod

Jon Erdman
Published: May 28,2017

A strong solar storm triggered a spectacular aurora over the Memorial Day weekend, visible over a sizable swath of the northern U.S., Canada, and higher latitudes of the Southern Hemipshere.
The storm, rated G3 on the NOAA scale for geomagnetic storms, peaked Saturday night, setting up a dazzling display in the night sky as far south as parts of Nebraska and Cape Cod.
(MORE: 10 Best States to See the August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse)
This storm originated from a coronal mass ejection, essentially a large eruption of charged particles and radiation from the sun's corona, on May 23. Once the energetic particles in the solar wind interact with air molecules in the earth's upper atmosphere, a brilliant light show ensues.
Here is a collection of photos posted on social media of this event.

The Pacific Northwest

Yes, it was even visible in the skies over the Seattle metro area.


The Rockies

Imagine Old Faithful with a backdrop of northern lights...

Photo credits: Michelle Olsen (left) and Mara Reed (right) via NWS-Riverton, Wyoming

Alberta, Canada


Northern Plains

Some subtle lights were seen as far south as Omaha.
Even if you're not a fan of most selfies, you have to admit this one is pretty cool.


Great Lakes

"Believe-land" indeed...


Upstate New York, New England

The northern lights are just one of the many amazing sights the staff at the Mt. Washington Observatory witnesses.
Even residents and vacationers on Cape Cod were treated to a sight they don't often see, there.
The aurora could also be detected by the Suomi NPP satellite, seen as a bright ribbon across the northern extent of the image below.
And we'd be remiss if not including a spectacular photo of the aurora australis, the light show from the southern hemisphere.
Jonathan Erdman is a senior meteorologist at and has been an incurable weather geek since a tornado narrowly missed his childhood home in Wisconsin at age 7. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
MORE: The June 23, 2015 Aurora (PHOTOS)

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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