Watch for Northern Lights tonight – possibly visible from Washington County

July 16, 2017 – Washington County, WI – There’s a pretty good chance neighbors across Washington County could see the aurora borealis from Sunday night into Monday morning.

Hat tip to Aaron Tobin for the initial heads up.

“An awesome Northern Lights show has been in progress since around 2 a.m. and will continue through around 7 a.m. Monday,” wrote Tobin.

According to the Space Weather Prediction Center   “the event is courtesy of a solar flare, which erupted out of a sunspot late Thursday into early Friday.”

Tobin offers these photography tips if you want to catch a picture or two of the Northern Lights.

For those who have a digital camera, once dark tonight, get the camera out and aim north. Set the lens to manual focus, zoom out all the way, focus on a cell tower light or any light in the distance & make it as sharp as possible. I set my f-stop at 3.5, ISO 1600, 15-20 second exposure. Aim a little bit above the horizon until you have them in view. Forecast is for clear skies over most of Wisconsin.

A minimum hemispheric power of 50 is needed to get northern lights on camera in southern Wisconsin. The hemispheric power is currently 92.91 so it’s twice as strong as what’s needed to see them here.

The following link shows the current hemispheric power.
http://services.swpc.noaa.gov/images/animations/ovation-north/latest.jpg

Photos courtesy Aaron Tobin.

 

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