Another Morning of Auroral Activity in Payson, Arizona

Uploaded 1/19/05

 Who says getting near solar minimum can be boring? A few days ago, a huge sunspot spewed out three CME events in the coarse of two days, from a giant flare. The sunspot was facing earth - right in the middle of the sun, and for the morning of the 18th, the Bz component was quite south pointing, drawing the protons right in. Here is a photographic diary of that night, as recorded by our robotic Aurora Cam, with the Zenitar 16mm fisheye.
Click on Thumbnails for the 800 x 600 size

 From upper left to lower right, the time changed from 7:30pm on the night of the 17th, with the half moon in the sky causing a bluish coloration. The shots are started every 15 minutes and the last frame was taken at 4:30am on the 18th, about an hour before the first light of twilight was to begin. As you can see, sometime just after midnight, the kp rose to about 7, and the red glow rose skyward from the north, and as has happened before, started to diffuse out near morning. Only a hint of the red glow was suspected with the naked eye. This is primarily a photographic Aurora. You can capture some amazingly faint aurora with a 10 minute exposure and 400 asa film!

 Frame 23, the glow rises about half way to Polaris. The field here is 180 degrees diagonally. You can see the big dipper to the left of center upside down.

 Frame 27, The glow becomes more structured and fainter, but rises higher in the sky.

 Frame 35, at exactly 4:30am the last shot fired off timed within a millisecond by the computer in the Aurora Cam. The glow now is very diffuse and rises well up past Polaris. The glow on the left in the trees is our kitchen light comming on as we get up from sleeping and get ready to go to work.

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