A second large eruption of sunspot 930 has
possibly sent another CME (Coronal Mass Ejection)
towards Earth. If so, it should arrive on December
16th, re-energizing geomagnetic and auroral
On Thursday evening a superb display was
reported across the United States and Canada, with
Northern Lights reaching well into our local area.
Between 6PM and 7PM last night beautiful greens
and deep magenta reds could be seen from Estes
Park to Loveland.
Sky-watchers are advised to stay alert tonight
for more auroras beginning at sunset. The best
photos can be obtained by using a 30 second
exposure and a fast speed film or ISO setting. The
Geminids are still active also, with several large
meteors reported during the Northern Lights
display on Thursday evening.
Complete information on upcoming auroral
displays, as well as many photos of last nights
Northern Lights, can be found by visiting www.spaceweather.com
Listen to this article
Meteor Locator Map
- Geminids Peak Tonight...
The Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight. Start
watching around 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday,
Dec. 13th. The display will start small but grow
in intensity as the night wears on. By Thursday
morning, Dec. 14th, people in dark, rural areas
could see one or two Geminids every minute.
In addition, sunspot 930 has released another
x-class explosion hurling a CME towards Earth.
Radiation in front of the CME has already knocked
out sensors on several solar satellites. The CME is
expected to arrive sometime on December 14th.
Northern Lights with Geminid Meteors???
Taken last Sunday afternoon on Storm Mountain,
this week's photo features a male Hairy Woodpecker
perched on a flowerbox in search of seed.
As food supplies diminish with the coming of
Winter, area birds are now frequenting feeders and
other sources of food near residents homes. This
is a great time of year for bird watchers to view
the many species in our area.
The Hairy Woodpecker (Dendrócopos villósus)
is one of several species of woodpecker in our
area with the male being easily distinguished by
the bright red patch on his head contrasting with
the black and white of his body and wings, and by
the vertical white stripe running up his back. The
Hairy Woodpecker is a year round resident of our
watchers, be alert for auroras commonly known as
the northern lights. A coronal mass ejection (CME)
is expected to brush past Earth tonight, sparking
a mild geomagnetic storm.
display will probably favor high latitudes such as
Scandinavia, Canada and Alaska, but it could
descend as well to northern-tier US states such as
Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and even Colorado.
source of the CME is sunspot 930, which has been
exploding regularly since it first appeared on
Dec. 5th. The "angry sunspot" is slowly
turning to face the Earth. As it does, it might send
more CMEs our way, and they would hit head-on
rather than merely brushing past. By next week,
Northern Lights could reach deep into the United