Northern Lights Observed Over Central Wisconsin at Summer Solstice

July 10, 2015

Aurora borealis milky way church (1)

Photographer: Lorraine Mahoney 
Summary Authors: Lorraine Mahoney; Jim Foster

The panorama above consists of 10 shots showing the northern lights as observed over central Wisconsin on the night of June 22, 2015. This auroral display resulted from a particularly strong Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that collided with the Earth. At this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere the latitudes between about 45 degrees and 60 degrees are in the sweet spot for viewing auroras. This is because north of 60 degrees north latitude (near the time of the summer solstice) the Sun is close to the horizon even during the nighttime hours. Thus, the sky is simply too bright to see auroras. Note the meteors at top center. Photo taken at 1:30 a.m.