Observing Report - Auroral display from Earth encounter with coronal mass ejection (CME) from sunspot NOAA Space Environment Center Region 486 - 10/29/2003

A sequence of four pictures showing auroral display at its peak around 08:30 UTC and then slowly fading by 09:00 UTC. Pictures were taken at Little Mountain Pass, 10 miles east of Salt Lake City, Utah, Latitude N 40.8, Longitude W 111.9 between 08:00 and 09:00 UTC, 10/29/2003 ( 01:00-02:00 AM MST, 10/29/2003 ) looking east north-east.

  • CME486_001.JPG 1.2 Megs
  • CME486_002.JPG 1.2 Megs
  • CME486_003.JPG 1.3 Megs
  • CME486_004.JPG 1.3 Megs

    The head of constellation Leo can be seen rising vertically on the eastern horizon. Naked eye colors appear paler and more subtle than those shown here. The photographic emulsion accumulates color and appears richer than that seen by the naked eye.

    Approximately 10-12 cars where present at Little Mountain Pass at local time 12:00 midnight MST. The northern horizon had a steel blue glow in the solar direction rising about 5 degrees off the horizon. At about 12:45am, about one-third of the cars left.

    At 1:00 am MST (08:00 UTC), the sky exploded for about an hour. Auroral displays reached to a maximum of approx. 35 degrees above the northern and northeast horizon. The peak auroral color bands began at local due north and then proceeded to move to the east horizon.

    It was expected that the peak band would move in an anti-solar motion, i.e. - that they would start in the local north east and then move to the north and northwest. The opposite occurred.

    The sequence of pictures are looking east from Little Mountain Pass and over the recreation parking lot of Upper Little Mountain Dell Reservoir.

    The sequence of pictures were taken with 800 ASA film with a tripod mounted 50mm SLR camera with the exposure time set to the manual "B" setting. A series of pictures were taken holding the camera aperture open for 5, 10 and 15 seconds. The best images appear here.

    The sequence of photos is subject to an NGU copyright but may be reproduced without limitation and at no cost, by newspaper and television media during period October 29 through November 7, 2003.

    This observing report is file:

  • CME486_obsrep.htm

    Kurt Allen Fisher
    (801) 524-0913