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Ursa Astronomical Association
Kopernikuksentie 1
00130 Helsinki

Ursa Astronomical Association

Active aurora band - 16.3.2023 at 00.05 - 16.3.2023 at 00.30 Hyvinkää Observation number 113465

Visibility III / V

Senni Rytkönen, Turun Ursa

Oh, those days when there were no applications for aurora alerts and you just had to rely on the internal radar. Since the spring equinox is around the corner, I could already sense that repos could appear. When I went to sleep, I looked out of the window at the northern sky to see if the sky was clear (and if the neighbor of the new semi-detached house next door had left his spotlight on) and it was clear; recognizable movement was already visible in the sky. Fortunately, my home has an L-shaped balcony with a good view to the north, but after the new neighbor's house went up next to it, the view is still ok. I found myself standing on the balcony and saw the active and bright northern lights at 00.05-00.30 until I remembered that a) I'm sick b) I'm wearing thin home clothes c) I had to go to bed. I decided to be a mature adult this time and didn't get a coat and went to bed. The northern lights were clearly visible this time, there was no fog or clouds in the background sky. Belt visible and active. At times the cosmic winds waved the aurora curtains briskly to blow westward into the radius of the marches. One bright beam rose into a pillar, standing out to the eyes as very neon green (at 00:19) and I noticed it in the middle of the settlement. With the naked eye, a faint red tint sometimes stood out during detection. I took a few helpful pictures with my cell phone, remembering again that you should get to know the phone's (Huawei P30 Pro) camera function better in advance to be able to use it in the cold. I took a couple of pictures with the night function, but otherwise I shot with the basic setting, focusing on the viewing itself and not staring at the screen. The images in the observation were taken with basic settings and have not been processed afterwards other than by cropping. What a beautiful, uplifting play it was!

More similar observations
Additional information
  • Aurora brightness
    • Bright auroras
  • Observed aurora forms
    • Band info

      Bands are usually narrower, more twisty at the bottom, brighter, and more active than arches. Bands usually develop from arches.

      Bands can form J and U shapes, sometimes even full spirals. The corona can also arise from bands. Bands are a fairly common form of aurora.

      Aurora band. Photo by Merja Ruotsalainen.

      Aurora band. Photo by Matias Takala.

      Aurora band. Photo by Lea Rahtu-Korpela.

      Aurora bands. Photo by Lauri Koivuluoma.

      Aurora band. Photo by Matias Takala.

    • Rays info

      The raysare parallel to the lines of force of the magnetic field, i.e. quite vertical, usually less than one degree thick light streaks. The rays can occur alone or in connection with other shapes, mainly with arcs and bands. Short rays are usually brightest at the bottom but dim quickly. The longest rays, even extending almost from the horizon to the zenith, are usually uniformly bright and quite calm, and unlike the shorter rays, most often occur in groups of a few rays or alone. Rays, like bands, are a very typical form of aurora.

      Artificial light pillars, which are a halo phenomenon visible in ice mist, can sometimes be very similar to the rays of aurora. Confusion is possible especially when the lamps that cause the artificial light pillars are far away and not visible behind buildings or the forest. The nature of the phenomenon is clear at least from the photographs.

      Rays. Picture of Tom Eklund.

      Rays. Photo by Mika Puurula.

      Two beams rise from the aurora veil. Photo by Anssi Mäntylä.

      Two radial bands. Show Jani Lauanne.

      Radial band and veil. Photo by Jussi Alanenpää.

      Two rays. Photo by Aki Taavitsainen.

      It may be possible to confuse such rays with artificial light columns. Compare the image below. Picture of Tom Eklund.

      There is no aurora in this image, but all the light poles - including the wide and diffuse bar seen at the top left - are artificial light pillars born of ice mist. Photo by Sami Jumppanen.

      Aurora and artificial light pillars. All the radial shapes in the picture above are probably artificial light pillars that coincide appropriately with the aurora band. In the image below, the aurora band has shifted and does not overlap with the pillars produced by the orange bulbs. There is no orange in auroras. Photo by Katariina Roiha

  • Colors with unaided eye and other features
    • Green auroras info

      Green, seen with the naked eye, is one the most common colors of the aurora. The green color is derived from atomic oxygen.

      Green auroras. Lea Rahtu-Korpela.

      Green auroras. Photo by Juha Ojanperä.

    • Red coloration of the shapes top info

      Auroras which have red top part that can be seen with naked eye are most often observed in the bands and long rays. In this case the lower parts are usually green. If the upper parts are in sunlight, red may be stronger than green. This shade of red is due to the discharge of the excitation state of the atomic oxygen.

      Aurora that shift to reddish towards the top. Photo by Karri Pasanen. 

      Red top in a aurora band. Photo by Simo Aikioniemi.

      Red at the top of the aurora. Picture of Tom Eklund.

    • Flaming auroras info

      Flaming. This rare subclass of aurora does not mean so much a single shape, but a large area in the sky. In the flaming aurora, bright waves that are sweeping upward towards the magnetic zenith emerge in the sky. Very rarely waves can wipe downwards. Bands are usually reported during flaming, less often spots.

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