On Sept. 30, 2013, the sun released an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME. On Oct. 2, 2013, the CME hit Earth’s magnetic field, causing a mild geomagnetic storm, which in turn caused aurora in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The geomagnetic storm caused northern aurora to appear further south than normal in more than a dozen northern-tier US states, including Oregon and New York. In the southern hemisphere, auroras were seen as far north as New Zealand.
This aurora image was taken by Jason Brownlee on October 1, 2013 in the Central Oregon Cascade Mountains. Image Courtesy of Jason Brownlee.