ad info

 
CNN.com
  spacecorner
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
SPACE
TOP STORIES

Mir cargo vessel abandoned

John Zarrella: Lessons learned from Challenger

Last rendezvous for Mir

Beginning of the end for Mir

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

Bush signs order opening 'faith-based' charity office for business

Rescues continue 4 days after devastating India earthquake

DaimlerChrysler employees join rapidly swelling ranks of laid-off U.S. workers

Disney's GO.com is a goner

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image

Solar shock wave causes surprise aurora display

April 7, 2000
Web posted at: 1:14 PM EDT (1714 GMT)

Sky & Telescope contributing photographer Johnny Horne captured this view of the aurora from northeast of Fayetteville, North Carolina, at about 9:30 p.m. EDT. Click on image for larger view.  

Many skywatchers who went outside to view the moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn grouped together last night were treated to a bonus spectacle -- a surprise auroral display.

According to reports sent to Sky & Telescope and also collected at the Auroral Activity Observation Network, the dramatic red display was visible across Europe and seen as far south as New Mexico and Florida.

The shock wave of solar wind hit the Earth at about 12:40 p.m. EDT and the visible display lasted until about 10:30 p.m. EDT.

Auroras most often glow green, the color emitted by oxygen atoms high in the upper atmosphere after they are struck by bombarding electrons from Earth's magnetosphere.

Red displays are rarer, sometimes involving energized nitrogen molecules lower down in the atmosphere -- an indication of a more potent geomagnetic storm. Auroras that extend away from the poles and closer to the equator, as occurred last night, also reflect strong storm conditions.

According to Cary Oler of Solar Terrestrial Dispatch, "Although there will probably be some residual substorm activity over the higher latitudes during the next 24 hours, there will not be a recurrence of the auroral storming for most middle-latitude locations."



RELATED STORIES:
Rare meteorite promises glimpse into dawn of creation
March 17, 2000
Rock hunter finds second Mars meteorite known in U.S.
February 4, 2000
Hubble images of dying stars could shed light on living Earth
March 9, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Sky & Telescope
Auroral Activity Observation Network

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2000 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.