Rare Blood Red Auroras over Canada, USA, Chile and Russia on Sept 9, 2015

Solar activity is very low. Not one of the small sunspots currently dotting the solar disk is actively flaring. As a result, the sun’s X-ray output has flatlined. NOAA forecasters say the odds of a strong solar flare on Sept. 9th are no more than 1%.

NOAA forecasters say the odds of a strong solar flare on Sept. 9th are no more than 1%. Aurora alerts, however last night strange bright red auroras were seen from Canada all the way down to the Virginia.

Blood red auroras in the sky of Spruce Knob, West Virginia.
Credit: Photo by Darren Shank.

Red auroras are not fully understood but according to NOAA, the red auroras are caused by a crack in Earth’s magnetosphere.

Some researchers believe the red lights are linked to low energy electrons from the sun, which move too slowly to penetrate deeply into the atmosphere. When such electrons recombine with oxygen ions in the upper atmosphere, red photons are emitted. Whatever causes red auroras, it remains a mystery so far.

The normal color of Aurora are green, so it was a bit odd when photographers captured Red Aurora in Chile, Russia, USA and Canada. It also seems like I’ve seen a lot of red sunsets lately too. Strange days indeed.

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