The Northern Lights in Payson new Solar Cycle 24 - First Aurora of the coming solar maximum Uploaded 10/28/11

 Here are the results from the robotic digital aurora cam for the first 2 hours of shooting on October 25th. The Kp Index reached 8 that night as a CME impact occurred from a recent solar flare. For much of the northern USA, the conditions were perfect as aurora was reported as far south as it ever can be, Arkansas and Georgia. (And of course me, in Arizona). But the weather here was terrible. Giant storms were on the way and it was clouding up fast. It was totally hopeless at sunset, however an hour later small holes appeared to the north. I quickly set up the aurora cam, not used for this purpose since 2006! This set of exposures show the advancing clouds, but the first frame shows low on the horizon a deep red glow. The remaining images show a deep green sky in a very diffuse auroral glow never seen normally from here. Then the clouds rolled in, and it started to rain on the camera - And I rescued it before any damage occurred. Whew, that was a close call.

As you can see here, the yellow bright glows in the sky are the moving clouds. Look behind them to see the aurora. Solar maximum is not until 2013, so we still have time for half a dozen more auroral events here in the coming years.


Some deep reds along the entire northern horizon here

A small amount of reds still seen, mostly clouds!

The lower left corner of this fish eye lens frame is now starting to turn green

Strong green now behind the clouds


Very strong greens

Strong greens

Very wide spread greens

Starting to fade a bit

Last vestiges before the clouds roll in

The sky is gone now for the rest of the night. It will start

pouring rain shortly!