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Aurora Sighted in the U.S.
Aurora Sighted in the U.S.

Behemoth sunspot 1302 unleashed another strong flare on Sept. 24, 2011-an X1.9-category blast at 5:40 am EDT. A strong-to-severe (Kp=8) geomagnetic storm occurred on Sept. 26, 2011, when the associated coronal mass ejection (CME) struck Earth, sparking aurora. At the peak of the disturbance, auroras were sighted around both poles and in more than five US states including Michigan, New York, South Dakota, Maine, and Minnesota.

"Almost as soon as it was dark we were seeing vertical columns of light extending high into the sky, with the ever-present green color, but also lots of red color!" said Travis Novitsky of Grand Portage, Northeastern Minnesota, of this image he took on Sept. 26, 2011. Image Courtesy of Travis Novitsky.

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Page Last Updated: January 15th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator