Northern Lights Over Washington State

May 30, 2013


Photographer: Robert Farrimond
Summary Authors: Robert Farrimond; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a wonderful display of northern lights visible over the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. during the early morning hours of March 17, 2013. I observed this aurora from the vantage point of Vantage, Washington. A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) on Friday March 15 impacted the Earth's geomagnetic field early on the 17th, resulting in these mesmerizing, red-tinged green curtains and streamers. Note that chances of seeing aurora from the Pacific Northwest are greater than from eastern Siberia because, while Siberia is much farther north, it's farther from the north geomagnetic pole. The pattern of stars forming a "W" at upper left is the constellation of Cassiopeia.

Photo details: Canon T1i camera; Canon lens - 28mm to 105mm at 28mm; ISO 800; 10 second exposure.