Gorgeous aurora captured by Martin McKenna! Last night’s geomagnetic storm (April 24, 2012) put on quite a show and this was not even a large event. This is near the childhood homes of some of our esteemed Irish solar physics colleagues! I can’t think of a more appropriate place than the Giant’s Causeway to see these spectacular lights.
From Martin to spaceweather.com, “Hi Tony My girlfriend and I went aurora hunting to the Co. Antrim coast after seeing your alert and that mid lats were on red alert. The aurora we saw was sublime!, the best I have seen here since 2005 with vertical green pillars of light some 60 degrees high accompanied by amazing pulsating/flamming motions like the beating of a heart which was jaw dropping. We could even see the beams reflecting on the ocean forming their own glitter paths – what a night!! Canon 450D, 18mm, ISO1600.” credit: Martin McKenna and spaceweather.com.
This geomagnetic activity was most likely from the passage of a CME (coronal mass ejection) that was observed on April 19, 2012. This was actually 3 CMEs so the impact could be due to 1 or all of them.
The resulting CME passage of Earth produced geomagnetic fluctuations with a Kp index of 6 giving a geomagnetic storm level of G2 on a scale of G1-G5.