Aurora Observed from Satellite

January 30, 2002


Provided by: Mark Conner, Air Force Weather Agency
Summary authors & editors: Mark Conner

This image was captured by a US Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellite on November 6, 2001 at 0245 UTC (9:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 5). DMSP satellites are in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of about 450 nautical miles (about 833 km). The visible sensor has low-light capability to allow the imaging of nighttime phenomena such as the aurora seen here as a band of light stretching from New England into the northern Plains. City lights are also plainly visible - Chicago is near the center of the image, just south of the bright band. This striking aurora was visible to observers as far south as Georgia and southern California!

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