Astronomy blog

Minor geomagnetic storm; Moon and planets early next week

By Dave Samuhel, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
11/30/2018, 6:33:45 PM

A minor geomagnetic storm is expected to occur this weekend. While you won't see the northern lights very far south, there can be a good display in northern parts of the U.S.



The trigger for the storm is a coronal hole near the sun's equator. This same hole faced Earth about four weeks ago. The result was an impressive aurora display on November 4. It was seen in Wyoming, Montana, Iowa, Washington, North Dakota and other states. In fact, according to spaceweather.com, this same coronal hole has produced geomagnetic storms every month dating back to July! (The sun basically completes one rotation every month)

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If you're up late aurora hunting, you'll notice the moon rise before dawn. On Monday, the moon will rise very close to Venus. Many of us have not seen the moon for a while since it is no longer in the evening sky, but it is now high in the early morning sky. It rises more than three hours before the sun.

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The moon will fade to a thin crescent as it nears the sun over the next few mornings. Jupiter and Mercury are very near the sun but probably too close to get a good look.

That's all for now. Just a quick reminder that the Geminids meteor shower is two weeks away. The peak night is December 13/14. It should be nearly as active as the Perseids were this past August.

Also, this is just too cool not to share!

Thanks for reading! Just look up; you never know what you will see.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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