Wild Aurora Display
Didn't have to go very far this one...all the way out into the driveway. I had heard there was a CME which hit the
earth's magnetic field earlier in the day but didn't think too much of it as it wasn't supposed to be very strong and it
was cloudy out. Michael Youkum had sent me a text as I was leaving work asking my thoughts on what was going
to come once the sun set but the clouds really had me pessimistic. About 8:00 Steve Yezek from northern Iowa
called to tell me he could see a green ribbon above the horizon. I still didn't think the viewing was even worth
worrying about. 5 minutes or so later ,Tyler Burg sent me a text telling me he could see them in Lincoln, NE and
the Bz was -10. OK, fine. I'll check the infrared sat images. Holy heck...there was a hole in the cloud deck.
Checked the space weather conditions and the Bz was -17.1!! I went outside at 8:15 and looked around the corner
of the garage to the northern horizon. "HOLY CRAP" I whispered as I tipped my head back and looked straight
up! Wild green and red pillars reaching all the way overhead and even to the south! I knew right away this was
no regular northern lights display. The auroral ring was directly over us! Melinda came out and joined me as I
scrambled to get a cam and tripod set up in the front yard. I ran across the street to the neighbors and had them
bring their kids out to see the crazy display. I called Tyler to offer up a quick "thanks" for the heads up then
called Dick McGowan down in Kansas. As soon as he answered the phone, I asked him what state he was in. He
screeched "Kansas". I knew by the tone of his voice he could see them all the way down there! Doug Kiesling
called next and wanted to know where I was. "My driveway." The show was very fast. Maybe 5-7 minutes of
really intense activity. Reports on FB started to come in of sightings in Missouri, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma,
then Texas and New Mexico! What a crazy display!
All shots are at 11mm looking straight up! Nikon D200 Tonika 11-16 f2.8 lens
I don't recall ever seeing orange auroras in my life.
As the storm started to subside, for several minutes a gentle flow of
reds and greens traveled overhead from northwest to southeast.