Northern Lights Over West Texas!!

A series of powerful solar blasts and associated mass ejections from the Sun during the past week have resulted in aurora over the low latitudes. Aurora, or northern lights, have been observed in the skies above west Texas twice in recent nights.

time lapse photograph of the aurora over west Texas
11/07/2004

Sunday night (November 7th, 2004) periods of thick cirrus clouds obscured much of the sky. Using time-lapse photography, however, a distinct red auroral glow could be seen in the thin areas and breaks in the clouds to the north. The above photo was taken along Farm to Market Road 1788 just northwest of Midland.

A second cloud of charged solar particles impacted Earth on Tuesday (November 9th, 2004). Under clear skies, a faint and colorless glow could be seen in the northern sky. Again, photographs taken from Farm to Market Road 1788 in southeast Andrews County revealed a red auroral glow.

time lapse photograph of the aurora over west Texas
11/09/2004


time lapse photograph of the aurora over west Texas
11/09/2004

Two additional shockwaves containing potentially aurora producing particles are headed toward Earth as of Wednesday evening. These impacts should occur sometime Thursday. Although there is a slim chance additional auroras will brighten the west Texas skies, these most recent solar blasts were not squarely Earth directed so the probability of additional aurora may be decreasing.

A very bright aurora visually appeared blood red in the skies over west Texas during the early morning hours of October 29, 2003. An event of that magnitude is not currently anticipated.

time lapse photograph of the aurora over west Texas
10/29/2003

 


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