Aurora Borealis seen on Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band imagery

May 9th, 2012 |
Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band + 11.45 µm IR + "Fog/stratus product" images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band + 11.45 µm IR + "Fog/stratus product" images

An AWIPS comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band (DNB), 11.45 µm IR, and IR brightness temperature difference “Fog/stratus product” images at 06:51 UTC on 09 May 2012 (above) revealed several ribbons of the aurora borealis (which showed up as bright west-to-east oriented features on the DNB image over Ontario and Quebec, Canada). Note that there was no correlation between these bright DNB aurora features and any high cloud features on the 11.45 µm IR image, or  any low cloud or fog features on the legacy “fog/stratus product” image.

These aurora features would have been along the southern periphery of the auroral oval, which was expanding southward at that time  according to images from the Space Weather Prediction Center (below).

Space Weather Prediction Center auroral oval product images

Space Weather Prediction Center auroral oval product images

Photos of the aurora borealis were taken from Upsala, Ontario — located approximately halfway between Thunder Bay (station identifier CYQT) and Dryden (station identifier CYHD) — and posted on Spaceweather.com. These photos were taken about an hour prior to the VIIRS images shown above.

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