Credit & Copyright: Duane ClausenExplanation: Few auroras show this level of detail. This unusual display of an auroral corona occurred on Earth three days after an unusual solar event -- the fifth most powerful explosion yet recorded on the Sun. An X14-class solar flare on April 15 sent a tremendous Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) into the Solar System. This CME did not directly impact the Earth. The Solar-System wide shock wave it created probably did, however, causing a G3-class geomagnetic storm and a night filled with colorful auroras across much of northern North America. The unusual red color of this Michigan aurora is caused by solar ions striking oxygen molecules 300 kilometers high in Earth's atmosphere. More typical green auroras are caused by oxygen recombining only 100 kilometers high.
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: aurora - corona
Publications with words: aurora - corona