April 21, 2014Auroras
A CME impact from an M7 flare on April 18th had impacted Earth around 1000 UTC on April 20. The impact was just before sunrise, and the magnetic field within the CME was mostly pointed north, so there was not a big geomagnetic impact. I had been in the Twin Cities at a family Easter celebration and watched the magnetic field drop barely into the negative values, and solar wind speeds were near 700 km/s, so I thought there could be some auroras. Given this possibility, I chose the darker route for my way home, which was Highway 65 north through Cambridge, Mora, and McGregor.
Indeed, as I drove along MN 95 to Cambridge, I could see a little glow to the north. As I continued north of Cambridge, I could see half of an auroral oval in the northwestern part of the sky. I decided to continue north past Mora in order to get as many city lights out of the picture as possible. Just north of Knife Lake, I saw a tall column and decided, rather than looking around for a nice shooting location, to stop right where I was. Highway 65 north of Knife Lake is pretty quiet after 9:00 PM, so it's not too difficult just to stop on the road and snap a couple pictures without cars in them.
|Auroras shot at 32 mm, f2.8, ISO 1600, 25 seconds.|