John Dean via
Nome, Alaska, under Saint Patrick's Day northern lights.

Aurora Borealis Bathes Turtle Island in Saint Patrick's Day Green


The sun got into the Saint Patrick’s Day act by hurling a coronal mass ejection (CME) straight at Mother Earth a couple of days earlier. It hurtled toward us at 900 miles per second, according to NASA, and when it slammed into the magnetosphere, the explosion was green.

The impact caused a moderate geomagnetic storm that sent Kelly-green northern lights flashing and dancing all the way south to Colorado, reported. Turtle Island’s photographers were ready.

“The aurora kicked in after midnight and continued until dawn with reasonably clear skies through most of it with the exception of about an hour of clouds,” wrote Rocky Babell of Keller, Washington, on “This is the first time I've actually been able to see the light reflected off of the water. The weather guy came through.”

In Colorado the spectacle appeared in the early morning.

"Just after 4 a.m. local time, the skies turned green and red behind the twin stone monoliths of Rabbit Ears Peak near Steamboat Springs, Colorado," wrote photographer and astronomy professor Jimmy Westlake to

The aurora borealis also appeared as far south as New York State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Michigan and the Dakotas, reported.

“The show's not over,” said. “Geomagnetic storming is under way as Earth passes through the wake of the CME. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras."

Saint Patrick's Day aurora borealis above Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo:  Allen Snowdon via

Northern Lights appear over Keller, Washington. (Photo: Rocky Raybell/Flickr)

Aurora borealis over Nome, Alaska, on March 17, 2013 (Photo: John Dean via

Irish Northern Lights over Coldfoot, Alaska (Photo: David Ruzicka via

Taken at Allenton, Wisconsin, on March 17, 2013 (Photo:  Scott Weberpal via

Delta Junction Alaska, on March 17, 2013 (Photo: Christy Olson-Groppel via

Just the merest hint of green in this shot from Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs, Colorado (Photo: Jimmy Westlake via

Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs, Colorado on March 17, 2013 (Photo: John Carlson via

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