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Stan Richard | profile | all galleries >> Aurora Borealis - Iowa & Wisconsin >> Aurora Borealis - Iowa - May 15, 2005 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Aurora Borealis - December 14, 2006 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - May 15, 2005 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - November 7, 2004 | Aurora Borealis - Wisconsin - August 5, 2004 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - July 26, 2004 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - July 24, 2004 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - November 20, 2003 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - July 12, 2003 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - September 8, 2002 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - November 5, 2001 | Aurora Borealis - Iowa - October 21, 2001

Aurora Borealis - Iowa - May 15, 2005

May 13, 2005 16:52 UTC-
One year from solar minimum, the sun releases an unexpected M8.0 flare with a full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) traveling at almost 1200 km/sec towards earth.

May 15, 2005 07:30 UTC-
My cell phone wakes me at 2:30am CDT Sunday morning - a text message from STD (Solar Terrestrial Dispatch): planetary Kp Index *9* alert! Even half asleep this caught my attention. I looked out the window and could see the green glow in the north thru broken clouds even where I live in the bright suburbs. I could only imagine what was going on in dark skies. I immediately got dressed, grabbed my gear and headed to my favorite aurora-viewing site at Jester Park on Saylorville Lake north of Des Moines, a 15 min. drive. On the route north, I could start seeing lots of action going on in the sky. Upon arriving, and my heart now racing, I jump out of my Mountaineer and see tall red, white and purple beams, curtains, waves and pulsations of light covering almost the entire sky. I quickly set-up my camera and tripod and started shooting. The ever-changing beautiful full corona overhead was mesmerizing to watch with ghost-like pulsations appearing to come right down upon me. This was one incredible light display by Mother Nature, and unfortunately none of my aurora-watching buddies made it out to the show. After an hour and a half of watching and shooting, the lights slowly fade out. In a daze, at 4:30am I head You can email me at
Astronomy Picture of the Day - May 20, 2005