A coronal mass ejection, or CME, hit Earth’s magnetic field early yesterday morning (March 17, 2015) and sparked a wonderful geomagnetic storm, the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle – sporadically peaking at G4 intensity on the five-point scale. Before sunrise on March 17, people in several northern U.S. states including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, the Dakotas and Washington reported auroras. Of the early-morning March 17 display, Colin Chatfield in Canada wrote:
I have been fortunate to take thousands of aurora pictures previously, but this was the best display I have ever seen.
Many photographers told us they were headed out yesterday evening to try to catch the display. The forecast for yesterday evening wasn’t quite as good, and no word yet on whether the display will last into Wednesday evening. Click here for updates from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.
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.
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