Nov. 4, 2021: Auroras in California? Believe it. On Nov. 4th, the glow of a strong (G3) geomagnetic storm spread almost to Los Angeles. Aurora chaser Hongming Zheng took this picture just outside Lincoln CA at latitude +39N:
“This was my southernmost aurora sighting yet!” says Zheng. “A red glow and occasional pillars were visible to the naked eye. I was very pleasantly surprised with this unexpectedly strong geomagnetic storm.”
More reds appeared in Joshua Tree, California (+34N). “I could not see them with my naked eye,” says veteran observer Don Davis, “but my camera recorded these rare SoCal auroras.”
The CME that sparked the display was a special “Cannibal CME“–that is, a mashup of multiple solar storm clouds striking Earth all at once. Cannibal CMEs contain tangled magnetic fields and compressed plasmas that often do a good job sparking auroras.
In Abisko, Sweden, the auroras were so bright they could be seen at sunrise:
“I almost slept through the storm,” confesses photographer Oliver Wright. “I woke up just after 5am and I could see auroras through my bedroom window. So quick coffee and headed down to the bridge over the Abisko canyon. I was watching purple auroras getting washed out by the nautical sunrise. I’ve only ever seen that once before during the Saint Patrick Day geomagnetic storm of 2015.”
more aurora images:from Marianne Bergli of Tromsø, Norway; from Marybeth Kiczenski of Bayfield, Wisconsin; from Markus Varik of Tromsø, Norway; from Chris Cook of Cape Cod, Massachusetts; from Greg Ash of Duluth Minnesota; from Genevieve of Greenwood, Maine; from Thomas Spence of Tofte, Minnnesota; from Shelley Johnson of Anacortes, Washington