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April 17, 2015 Auroras

Lake Winnibigoshish

A high speed stream of solar wind with speeds approaching 800 km/s ignited the auroras tonight.  As is typical after the onset of a high speed stream, Bz was not terribly far south, so I thought the auroras would be focused more on the northern horizon, so I wanted to get out to a location with a view of the actual horizon.  There was a bit of a breeze, so it was tough to find a good location with calm waters that would provide a good reflection of the auroras, but I thought the southwestern shore of Lake Winnibigoshish might be an acceptable spot.

It turns out to have worked pretty well.  There was still ice on the lake, but the wind had pushed it to the other side, and I had what appeared to be an open expanse of water.  The wind was blowing offshore, so there were no waves on my side.

There was a substorm about to start when I arrived at 9:49 PM, and since this substorm was so early, I decided to wait for the second one, which I guessed would happen around midnight. It decided to wait another hour, so I did not start back home until after 2:00 AM.  It was a late night.

Nice Auroras
9:59 PM, just a few minutes after I arrived.  There's already structure appearing.
Nice Auroras
At 10:13 PM, the first substorm of the night is getting started.
Nice Auroras
At 10:17 PM, the first substorm of the night.
Nice Auroras
Multiple colors.
Nice Auroras
Multi-colored columns.
Nice Auroras
The tail end of the first substorm at 10:28 AM.
Nice Auroras
At 11:10 AM, while the oval is reorganizing to the north, a narrow ribbon appears overhead.  Looking east-southeast.
Nice Auroras
The oval reconstitutes itself, looking pretty bright again by 12:27 AM.
Nice Auroras
The oval is getting brighter at 12:33 AM, but it's still got about 25 minutes to go before substorm #2.
Nice Auroras
The second substorm gets started at 12:59 AM.
Nice Auroras
Into the second substorm at 1:04 AM.
Nice Auroras
Mid way through the second substorm at 1:30 AM.
Nice Auroras
A wider angle view about the same time.
Nice Auroras
Just a few minutes later, at 1:35 AM.  Things started quieting down immediately after this.


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