RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – As a Coronal Mass Ejection from sunspot number 158 impacted the Earth overnight Monday, April 23 into the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, April 24, the magnetic interaction created auroras visible with clear skies in the northern Plains and upper Midwest. The aurora, or “Northern Lights,” were visible as far south as Ohio, as seen in this photo by Allan Detrick.
A meteorology friend of mine from my University of Oklahoma days also captured a photo of the aurora in North Dakota. Here’s Dr. Aaron Kennedy’s image from the Grand Forks area of North Dakota.
You can click here to check for more photos from around the world of the overnight aurora as they are shared.
This moderate (Kp = 6) aurora event occurred because of a Coronal Mass Ejection that was hurled resulting from sunspot number 158 activity toward the Earth. The interaction of those charged particles from the Sun with our magnetosphere generate the aurora.
BONUS: Click here to watch a stunning recap of some aurora images from the Fall of 2011 through the Spring of 2012.