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Geomagnetic Storm In Progress
03.02.11 - UPDATE: The storm is subsiding now, but it could start up again in response to ongoing high-speed solar wind.

Aurora in Poker Flat, Alaska › View larger
NASA space physicist James Spann sends this picture from Poker Flat, Alaska, where he is attending a scientific conference to study auroras.

A solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field during the early hours of March 1st. The impact sparked a polar geomagnetic storm that was, at first, minor, but the storm has been intensifying throughout the day. Spotters are now reporting auroras over Northern Ireland, Latvia, Norway, and Sweden. If the trend continues, high-latitude sky watchers will likely witness bright auroras after nightfall on March 1-2. Northern-tier US states such as Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Washington could be favored with photographic and/or visual displays.

Dr. Tony Phillips
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center