Friday, June 7, 2013

Northern Lights in USA & Daylight Meteor Shower

Last night, Earth passed through a region of south-pointing magnetism in the solar wind. This triggered a G2-class (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm. At its peak, the storm spawned Northern Lights as far south as the central USA.

[Photo of aurora in Kansas]

More auroras are in the offing. A CME that left the sun on June 5th is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of June 8th (or early hours of June 9th). NOAA forecasters estimate a 65% chance of geomagnetic storms when the CME arrives.


This week, Earth is passing through a stream of debris from asteroid Icarus, source of the annual Arietid meteor shower. The strange thing about this shower is that it occurs mainly during daylight hours. At its peak on June 7-8, as many as 60 Arietids per hour will streak invisibly across the blue sky after sunrise. The best way to observe the Arietids is via radar. Listen to their echoes on Space Weather Radio.