The photo at left features a dazzling aurora over Whitehorse, Canada and reflected on the calm waters of the Yukon River. The auraora was observed the night of September 2/3, 2012. This magnificent chartreuse display was the result of a huge coronal mass ejection (charged particles) released from the sun's upper atmosphere two days earlier. The aurora pattern was seen to change again and again but the mesmerizing drapes and folds were nearly always aligned with the magnetic field lines of Earth's magnetosphere. With recent episodes of increased solar activity, look for more aurora displays, some visible in the mid-latitudes, during the coming months.
Image credit: David E. Carter