UPDATE: Above Pacific Northwest, Oregon, the Coast: Planets, Possible Northern Lights
(Oregon Coast) – Look to the skies in May in the Pacific Northwest, especially later tonight, as you may get glimpses of the Aurora Borealis. Meanwhile, plenty of planets will be visible throughout the month. (Above: the Northern Lights in the coast range).
SpaceWeather.com said a sizable magnetic burst from the Sun created what it called “an interplanetary shock wave,” which began hitting the Earth on May 12. According to the site, this became visible in a big way that night and should continue to do so for at least another evening. The site had some incredible shots of a Northern Lights display last night near Edmonton, Alberta in Canada.
The display did not last long, but it was intense, photographer Zoltan Kenwell told the publication.
NOAA is forecasting a 60 percent chance this will continue tonight – May 13.
“High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras,” the site said. “Hint: The best time to look is usually during the hours around local midnight.”
If you're going to try and see these in Oregon, you'll need to get far away from city lights. Chances are they are not visible with the naked eye, so find a photographer friend who has good gear. You'll need to take exposures about 5 to 20 seconds long, and take many of them.
The Oregon coast will be a good place for this if skies stay fairly clear and the wind isn't knocking your tripod around too much. Keep an eye on Oregon coast weather here.
For other sky watching around Oregon or the beach towns, Space.com is saying numerous planets will be available in the skies, and if you have a decent telescope, you could get a real show from Jupiter.
The publication said May 20 will feature a double shadow across Jupiter, as three of its moons cast shadows across the massive alien neighbor.
For those using just their eyes, the Oregon coast and the rest of the state will get an eyeful of other interplanetary pals.
Mercury is visible in the twilight sky during the first three weeks of the month, Space.com said. Venus is high in the western sky just after sunset, while Jupiter will stick around the night skies the entire month. Look for Saturn just north of the “claws” of Scorpius, and it will be visible all night on May 22 (just in time for Memorial Day weekend).
On the fainter side, Uranus comes up into Pisces just before sunrise, while Neptune loiters in the eastern morning sky in the constellation of Aquarius.
More Oregon coast nighttime sights below:
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