CME Impact.

Planet earth received a glancing blow from a Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun on March 10, 2011.  Earth’s magnetic field began shaking on March 10th in response to this CME impact; the reverberations continued for more than 24 hours.  The energy contained in the CME sparked intense geomagnetic storms around the planet.  Coincidentally this was also the when the 8.9 earthquake took place off the coast of Japan.  The geomagnetic storms of March 10th and 11th have subsided, but the catastrophe in Japan continues.  My thoughts go out to all that have been effected by this event.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be located on the other side of this planet from where this disaster continues to take place.  I was also lucky enough to have found some clear sky’s and photograph the first wave of this storm as it hit our atmosphere.

Things started off very slow with a mellow band of Aurora which stretched from the western to eastern horizons.  Even shooting with a full frame 5DmkII and the 15mm fisheye I could not get the entire aurora belt in the frame.

This is the Western horizon.

While this was the Eastern horizon.

This was looking straight up with the 15mm Fisheye lens. As you can see the aurora belt stretches from horizon to horizon.

Within 5 minutes of me stopping to setup for a few quick shots this began to erupt! It really continued to grow!

This shot is a little dark, but the patterns are fantastic!

Looking straight up things got crazy! This image made it on the NASA website!

This image looks like a jellyfish or one of those Horseshoe Crabs.

Here is another shot where I tried to capture the entire display. I still could not fit all of it in.

A change of location and 20 minutes later the aurora had morphed to lower on the horizon.

Well that pretty much wraps it up.  As you can see from the last image the clouds began to role in.  It’s amazing that there can be this kind of beauty on one side of the planet while on the other, total devastation can be taking place.

COINCIDENCES: Many readers have asked if this week’s terrible earthquake in Japan was connected to the contemporaneous geomagnetic storms of March 10th and 11th. In short, no. There is no known, credible evidence of solar activity triggering earthquakes. Moreover, in the historical record, there are thousands of examples of geomagnetic storms without earthquakes, and similar numbers of earthquakes without geomagnetic storms. The two phenomena are not linked. quotes from

Again, my heart and thoughts are with everyone affected by the continued and worsening disaster in Japan!


Zoltan - Thank you Wayne!

Wayne Lacina - Hello, From San Diego USA…..
Your eye is amazing. It is as if you become one with the cosmic wind and it dances just for you. BEAUTIFUL,,,Such beauty

lori lozinski - thank you for capturing this amazing lightshow with your camera for all of the world to see. God tells us when there are disease & famine, earthquakes and wars and rumors of war, “look up…”

admin - Great to hear from you Greg! Thanks for kind words!

Greg Scratchley - Zoltan –

Once again you’ve captured one of the most beautiful of our world’s gifts.

Thanks again for keeping us inspired to do likewise.

– Greg

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