Aurora gives glowing sendoff to Seattle summer

Northern lights
Northern lights glow in a time-exposure photo with star trails. (NWS Seattle Photo via Twitter)

Seattle’s final fling with hot weather featured a celestial fireworks show on Sept. 27, in the form of an auroral display that benefited from clear skies as well as a strong geomagnetic storm.

The northern lights were pumped up by a wave of electrically charged particles thrown off by the sun a couple of days earlier — a phenomenon technically known as a coronal hole high-speed stream. reported that heightened auroras were spotted along the northern tier of the U.S., including Washington as well as Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.

Seattle’s auroral glow might have seemed faint to the naked eye, but long-exposure photography brought out shimmering colors.

See the pictures and video on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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