March 12, 2021 Aurora Borealis

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March 12, 2021 Aurora Borealis over Fairbanks, Alaska
Aurora over Fairbanks | Purchase Print

Earth has entered a fast solar wind stream from a coronal hole sparking some nice northern lights last night!

After a spike in plasma density about a day ago, the solar windspeed slowly sped up to over 560 km/s. Source: NOAA

Cat and I are currently in quarantine as she tested positive for COVID on Wednesday. We both have had a bit of a cough for about a week or more, but not bad. Hardly noticeable. This is likely the second infection for us. I was hit real hard last April, and I don’t even feel fully recovered.

Since we’re stuck at home, I packed down the trails in front of the house with snowshoes the other day and stomped out a few pads that I can set up cameras down in the lower yard. They turned out to be pretty nice locations for aurora viewing.

March 12, 2021 Aurora Borealis
Aurora and house lights on the hill | Purchase Print

The only downside was that it was a bit chilly. It was -23°F (-31°C) when I took these photos and it got colder later in the night. Not terrible for Fairbanks standards, but it always seems colder when it gets like that in March and April!

The current space weather forecast looks pretty good for us for another night (March 13) at high latitudes. The expected Kp-index is 3, dropping to 2 overnight. Both are good for Fairbanks and similar latitudes (live 3-day forecast). The weather forecast is similarly cold.

Aurora surrounding the Big Dipper | Purchase Print

There are more photos from last night in the gallery here: 2021-03-12
Hoping for some more tonight, stay tuned!

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