Saturday, August 30, 2014

Northwestern Lights

Northern lights over Kintla Lake (c) John Ashley
Northern lights over Kintla Lake, in Glacier National Park
A pair of coronal mass ejections (CME) from the sun earlier this week set off three nights of weak to moderate northern lights that were visible from most northern states, including Montana. The first CME burst forth on August 22nd and 23rd, reaching Earth on the 26th and 27th. The second CME sent a glancing blow across our night skies on the 29th, but clouds interfered with that one. The clearest skies occurred on the first night, when a small group of campers gathered on the shores of Kintla Lake to enjoy the late-night lights.