EarthSky Facebook friend Kevin Palmer Photography captured this beautiful photo of the northern lights, or aurora borealis, early in the morning of February 19, 2014. He wrote:
The northern lights were visible all the way in Central Illinois early this morning. It was worth the 4 hour wait before they got this bright at 2:30am.
According to SpaceWeather.com:
A minor geomagnetic storm is in progress on Feb. 18-19. The cause: Magnetic fields in the interplanetary medium have tipped south, opening a crack in Earth’s defenses against the solar wind. High-latitude sky-watchers should be alert for auroras.
More images of last night’s auroral display, below.
Bottom line: Photos of the beautiful aurora, or northern lights, seen on the night of February 18-19, 2014, when the lights reached at least as far down as central Illinois.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.