Activity on the sun this week prompted strong geomagnetic activity Thursday night (the night of September 7-8, 2017). Sacha Layos in Fairbanks, Alaska observed this outburst of auroras on Friday morning and captured the wonderful image above. Spaceweather.com said:
The debris from Wednesday’s monster X9-class solar flare reached Earth [Thursday night] and its impact was everything forecasters expected. A severe G4-class geomagnetic storm commenced, sparking auroras over Scandinavia so bright they actually stopped traffic … The storm was still going strong as night fell over North America. For a while, Northern Lights spilled across the Canadian border into the USA as far south as Arkansas – in addition to Maine, Connecticut, New York, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Maryland, Virginia, Vermont, North and South Dakota, and other states.
The geomagnetic storm is largely subsiding now. But Spaceweather.com said:
High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras … as the solar wind continues to blow faster than 700 km/s. Isolated periods of strong storming are possible in the hours ahead.
Bottom line: Photo from Alaska of the strong aurora on the night of September 7-8, 2017.
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.