Bighorn River Aurora
February started off with a geomagnetic storm on a mild winter night. At 1AM the northern sky briefly glowed green as seen from St Xavier, Montana. The Bighorn River provided a reflection; the current is fast enough here that it doesn't freeze over. I scouted out this location in the fall and knew it would be a great spot to camp out and wait for the aurora when the opportunity presented itself. A giant hole in the sun’s outer atmosphere (the corona) allowed the solar wind to escape and head towards Earth. Coronal holes rotate around the solar disk every 27 days, so they can be predicted in advance. When the high speed solar wind (up to 600 km/second) hits Earth’s magnetic field, charged particles wrap around the poles and the auroral oval expands towards the equator. This leads to the aurora being visible from mid-latitudes. But the exact timing, local weather, and other factors dictate where it can actually be seen.
- Kevin Palmer
- Image Size
- 6016x4016 / 13.7MB
2019, Bighorn River, February, Mallards Landing, Montana, St Xavier, astronomy, astrophotography, aurora, aurora borealis, clouds, colorful, dark, flowing, geomagnetic storm, green, kevin palmer, night, nikon 50mm f1.4, nikon d750, north, northern lights, reflection, riverbank, sky, space, starry, stars, trees, water, winter
- Contained in galleries
- Northern Lights, Recent Work, Montana, Wyoming, Night Sky