Aurora borealis across Canada on VIIRS Day/Night Band imagery

September 3rd, 2012 |
Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.8 µm Day/Night Band image + 11.45 µm IR channel image

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.8 µm Day/Night Band image + 11.45 µm IR channel image

A comparison of AWIPS images of Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.8 µm Day/Night Band data with the corresponding 11.45 µm IR channel data (above) revealed a number of bright west-to-east oriented streaks — signatures of the aurora borealis — across northern portions of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba at 08:36 UTC on 03 September 2012. A strong coronal mass ejection from the sun hit the Earth’s magnetic field, creating a geomagnetic storm that produced vivid displays of aurora borealis across high latitudes of North America.

It is also interesting to point out that the pale white signature of thick airborne smoke which had been transported from fires in Idaho can be seen over Manitoba in the southeastern corner of the satellite scene.

Farther to the north, a similar comparison of VIIRS Day/Night Band and IR imagery (below) showed additional bright auroral streaks across southern Yukon and adjacent areas of Alaska and the Northwest Territories.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.8 µm Day/Night Band image + 11.45 µm IR channel image

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.8 µm Day/Night Band image + 11.45 µm IR channel image

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