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Groningen, woensdag 4 maart 2009


AURORA WATCH: On March 3rd at 1:49 am, Alaska time, photographer Amara Eren stood shivering in the minus 20-degree air at Chena Hot Springs outside Fairbanks. "It was bitterly cold--even without the wind," she says. But, oh, what a view:

Photo details: Nikon D3, f/4, ISO 400, 75 second exposure.

The display was caused by a minor solar wind stream buffeting Earth's magnetic field. The solar wind is expected to intensify (a little) during the next 24 hours, and NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic activity. Arctic sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.