Aurora time!

Hey, it looks like we’ve got a promising evening for viewing the northern lights.


Unfortunately, I’m driving out of the green zone (Morris) to a yellow zone (Fargo, also a big, brightly lit city) for Zeteticon. But maybe I should think about taking a late night drive out into the countryside.


  1. blf says

    The real place to be for pretty lights in the sky is on Mars next month, when the Ancient Mayan Astronauts land “Comet” Siding Spring, to establish a base for the reconquest of Earth after all sentient life thereon(Earth) was wiped out by the Great Mayan Collapsing Longcount Calendar disaster of 2012.

  2. Rich Woods says

    Woohoo! I’m further north than Maryland!

    Ah, bollocks. The sky has been getting greyer since I left work this afternoon. It’s 21.51 local time now, and there’s no sign of shining lights and stuff.

  3. says

    Went out with the family, but didn’t see any. The kids have a busy day ahead of them and my wife has to work early, so we didn’t stay out long — around 22:00. (Southern NL).

  4. Ichthyic says

    this pisses me off. It’s fall in the Northern hemi… your part of the world is moving AWAY from pointing at the sun, ours in the south is moving TOWARDS it, yet it’s still the Northern that gets the auroras.


    I’m writing a sternly worded letter to…



    Santa Claus!

  5. cnocspeireag says

    I’m looking forward to the chance on the Isle of Skye. Maximum starts in an hour and a half, about one am local time.
    There is heavy cloud to the S, which hides the gibbous moon, but it’s slightly murky to the N.
    I’ve been abstemious during a very convivial evening with friends so that I can drive to somewhere with a low and dark Northern aspect if things look promising in the early hours.

  6. The Mellow Monkey says

    We’re in a good spot, but the sky is nothing but heavy grey clouds here. What a bummer.

  7. otrame says

    When I lived in Anchorage we had a few nights that were magical. One night I was watching TV with all the lights turned off. Suddenly I realized there was more light coming from the window than the TV. I went out to watch. Curtains of light in red, green, pink, and purple, billowing across the sky. It was wonderful.

  8. Artor says

    Ichthyic, you should get aurorae Down Under too, but they’re the Australis instead of Borealis. It’s just that you’re not important enough to appear on PZ’s map.

  9. gog says

    I’m in a red zone, sadly. The weather forecast doesn’t look promising, either. Oh well. It’s only been about 20 years since I last saw the aurora.

  10. raven says

    The University of Alaska expects “high auroral activity” tonight due to the geomagnetic storming. “[A]uroral activity will be … visible low on the horizon from Seattle, Des Moines, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and Halifax,” it says.

    They are hard to predict for how far south they can go.

    Seattle for the WC is too far north for me. I’m going to look anyway. Last night some guy in Arizona saw it on the horizon.

  11. swampfoot says

    We saw it here on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Green near the horizon with red and purple gradient fading as you looked more vertical. Beautiful. But then the Moon rose, probably 75% illuminated, and washed it right out.

  12. ck says

    Glen Martin wrote:

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in the accuracy of that chart.

    The chart has value, even if is overselling it. It’s merely showing the areas that are likely to be completely overcast (“poor”), partially overcast (“fair”) or clear (“good”). Those kinds of short term predictions are actually well within the capabilities of meteorologists.