KSAT Connect: Aurora borealis spotted in South Central Texas due to geomagnetic storm


SAN ANTONIO – It was a rare sight across parts of the South Central Texas sky Friday night: the aurora borealis!

A strong geomagnetic storm — the strongest since October 2003 — occurring this weekend allowed these colorful waves to extend farther south than usual.

According to the NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, a cluster of sunspots has ejected solar flares, plasma, and magnetic fields towards Earth over the past few days, causing this strong geomagnetic storm.

“CMEs (coronal mass ejections) are explosions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona. They cause geomagnetic storms when they are directed at Earth… Geomagnetic storms can impact infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on Earth’s surface, potentially disrupting communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio and satellite operations… Geomagnetic storms can also trigger spectacular displays of aurora on Earth.”

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center

Sightings have also been reported across the country and all over the world.

With more opportunities to spot them into the weekend, the best way to view the aurora borealis in South Central Texas is at a location away from city lights. Because of the sensitivity to light, phone cameras have also been proven to spot the colors better than the naked eye.

Check out some of the photos sent into KSAT Connect:

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  • Open the KSAT Weather Authority app OR visit the KSAT Connect web page. We recommend using the app for regular access to KSAT Connect!
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  • Sign in or sign up for a FREE KSAT Insider (member) account by clicking the orange button with the text “Log in to Upload a Pin.”
  • Once you’re signed in, you’ll click the orange button that now reads “Upload a Pin.”
  • Click the blue button at the top to choose the photo or video you’d like to share.
  • Select “Weather” as the channel and one category.
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