Aug. 18-21, 2002, Aurora Gallery
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Summary: Giant sunspot 69 hurled two coronal mass ejections toward the Sun in mid-August. One struck on August 15th, the next on August 18th. Both impacts triggered modest auroras. Geomagnetic activity intensified on August 20th when the interplanetary magnetic field near Earth turned south--a condition that favors Northern Lights. In all ... a week of auroras.

Unless otherwise stated, all images are copyrighted by the photographers.

  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Dominic Cantin, l'ile d'Orléans, 30 km east of Québec City, Canada
Aug. 21
#1, #2, #3, #4, more D. Cantin: "The nearly-full Moon added to the scene; it was beautiful to see this aurora over an illuminated wheat field! My wife said these were the most beautiful auroras that she had ever seen (but it was only her 2nd time seeing auroras)." Photo details: 28 mm @ f 2.8 , 25 sec, Fuji Superia 800

John Russell, Nome, Alaska
Aug. 19-20
#1, #2, #3, more J. Russell: "Very nice activity on both nights (the 19th and 20th) with an amazing burst on the 20th in near-daylight." Photo details: Nikkor 28mm f1.4, and Superia 800, 4 to 8 seconds exposure.

Warren Justice, near Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada
Aug. 19
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 W. Justice: "These were not bright aurora but they were very active with alot of 'dancing around' especially overhead. I have included two overhead images. One looks like a shark or some sea creature and the other looks like a ghost." Photo details: 28mm f1.9 @ aprox. 12 sec. Film: Fuji Superia 800 X-tra.

Tom Eklund, Toijala, Finland
Aug. 21
#1, #2, #3, #4, more T. Eklund: "This was the best aurora that I have seen in 10 months and it had one of the best wave like pulsations that I have ever seen!" Photo details: F/2.0, 15 -30 sec and Fuji Provia 400F

Vesa Särkelä, Kemijärvi, Finland
Aug. 20
#1, #2, #3, more Photo details: 28 mm lens, 30-60 sec, Fuji sensia 100

Stephane Levesque, Luceville, Quebec, Canada
Aug. 21
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, more Photo details: 28mm, f3.5, 400asa, 30 seconds

Dominic Cantin, Valbélair, 15 km north of Quebec city, Canada
Aug. 19
#1, #2, #3, #4, more Photo details: 28 mm @ f 2.8, 25 sec, Fuji Superia 800

Brian Larmay, Tichigan, Wisconsin, USA
Aug. 20
#1, more B. Larmay: "I took this picture just after sunset using Fuji 800 film and a 28mm lens"

Stan Richard, Minocqua, northern Wisconsin, USA
Aug. 19
#1, #2, #3, more S. Richard: "I was vacationing in the northwoods of Wisconsin on Aug. 19 when I awoke at 4:30am. to see these beautiful northern lights. The dawn was fast approaching so I had to shoot quickly. What you can't see or hear in the pics was the spooky ground fog and the a pair of owls echoing back to each other off in the distant woods, quite magical."

Philippe Moussette, Quebec, Canada
Aug. 20
#1, more Photo details: "Coolpix 995 digital camera, 30 sec. exposure at 400ASA"

Einar Jonskaas, Hamar, Norway
Aug. 18
#1, #2, #3, #4 Photo details: 28 mm lens, Kodak Gold Ultra 400, 12 sec. exposure

Juha Kinnunen, Jyväskylä,
Aug. 18
#1, #2, more J. Kinnunen: "This pretty display was the season's first for me; the nights are getting just dark enough to witness aurora here. The dominating tone was violet, just like in late April, when I took my last images of the previous season."

Details: An interplanetary shock wave, propelled by an explosion near sunspot 69 on August 14th, swept past Earth at approximately 1900 UT on August 15th and triggered a G1-category geomagnetic storm lasting more than 6 hours. One day later on Friday, Aug. 16th, twisted magnetic fields near giant sunspot 69 erupted again. The explosion sparked an M5-class solar flare and hurled a coronal mass ejection toward Earth. The CME struck Earth's magnetic field on August 18th at 1848 UT (2:48 p.m. EDT) and triggered a G1-class geomagnetic storm. Auroras continued fitfully until Northern Aug 20th when the interplanetary magnetic field near Earth turned south and fueled an even more intense episode of Northern Lights.

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