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Aurora in Slovenia

July 15/16 2000

On July 14 at 1024 UTC a powerful solar flare occured in the sunspot group designated NOAA 9077. The flare was the most powerfull since 1989. The flare also ejected a large dense cloud of charged particle on a direct collision course with Earth.

Only 24 hours later the cloud impacted the Earth's magnetosphere with an unprecedented speed of 1800 km/s. The collision triggered a massive coronal display on both polar areas, an event called a geomagnetic storm. Geomagnetic storms are categorized in 5 classes G1 being the weakest and G5 being the most severe. This storm ranked an extreme G5. Aurora, normaly restricted to high latitudes above 60 degrees progressed into mid-lattitudes, down to 40 degrees, a very rare phenomenon.

The aurora was visible as a light red, purple and violet glow in the northern sky. It formed typical auroral sturcures - rays, curtains, color alterations and pulsations.

Unfortunately the weather over Slovenia was terrible and even the most avid observers were granted only several minutes of clear sky to marvel this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.

All potographs were shot by Javor Kac from Slovenska Bistrica, Slovenia (1534'E, 4623'N) with 58-mm f/2 lens on Kodak 400. Exposure times ranged from 5 to 15 seconds.

22:19 UT 22:20 UT
22:21 UT 22:22 UT
22:23 UT

All photos and text on this page are © 2001 by MBK Team.

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