Saturday, May 11, 2024 OHIO!


A young couple enjoying the Northern Ohio Auroras

We traveled north to Magee Marsh last week for our annual looks at the spring bird migration. 
    While we did see some sweet birds on their way to northern breeding grounds, we also had the great fortune to witness effects of the strongest geomagnetic storm since 2003. The Kp Index, a measurement of the strength of the the disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field, rose to 8....a sufficient measurement to view the aurora in Ohio.
    The sun launched multiple CME's (Coronal Mass Ejections) toward Earth on Wednesday, May 8th. They arrived into the Earth's magnetic field on Friday, and are expected to continue to arrive through the weekend. The results of this Earthward energy were amazing displays of the Northern Lights...visible as far south as Key Largo. 
    We were camping in Maumee Bay State Park, situated on the shores of Lake Erie. What better setting could we ask for? At dusk, we headed to the beach from our campsite. 
    There were some low clouds present, but the skies were essentially clear. Typically, when watching for an aurora, we would look northward on the horizon. As the sun set, and the skies became darker, many folks collected n the beach....all gazing north over the lake.
    I started scanning other directions and noted some light colored streaks directly overhead. I shot a couple of 1/2 second images and could see definition in the streaks. I increased my exposure time and lo and behold, Lady Aurora was dancing overhead. After alerting the nearby crowd, I spent a couple of hours watching and photographing the mesmerizing's some looks....

My initial views directly overhead.....1/2 second exposure.

Here's my image after increasing my exposure time to 2 seconds.

Some low clouds reflected the developing Auroras

The crowd on the beach oohing and aahing as the Aurora began to dance. 

The greens began to develop and become visible to the naked eye.