It was 2010 when I first became interested in seeing the aurora as the sun was coming out of solar minimum. After discovering Spaceweather.com, it’s been one of my favorite websites ever since. October of 2011 is when I saw the aurora for the very first time. From that point on, I was hooked and became an aurora chaser. If the weather is clear and the aurora is out, then so am I. Until 2016 I lived in Illinois (both northern and central). The light pollution and the latitude (40° – 42° north) made sightings more difficult. But in 2016 I moved to northern Wyoming. The slightly higher latitude (45° north) as well as easier access to dark skies made aurora watching a lot easier. Over the years I sometimes drive north to Montana or Michigan for even better views. I’ve also been lucky to visit high latitudes such as Iceland and Arctic Sweden, where the northern lights are out almost any clear night. But the vast majority of the times I’ve seen the aurora it’s been close to home in middle latitudes.

Below is a list of all my aurora sightings, along with pictures. Every display looks different. Moonlight, passing clouds, and the strength of the geomagnetic disturbance all influence the view. Sometimes it’s just a dull glow, other times pillars rise up and show rapid movement. Some nights it’s slow-moving and low on the horizon, and other nights it fills the entire sky or STEVE appears. Most of the time the colors look better on camera than they do to the eye, which is why it’s so fun to photograph. Occasionally the aurora is so faint that only my camera will pick it up. This is marked as visual vs. photographic (V/P) aurora. If I see the aurora twice on the same night I only count it as one sighting. But if I see it in the early morning and then again later that night then I list 2 sightings for the same date. The time shown is when the aurora was at it’s brightest for the night (usually when the picture was taken). At the bottom of the page I break down all my sightings into charts and graphs.

 

DateLocal TimeKP IndexLocationV/PMoonPhoto
2011/10/2420:287Antioch, IllinoisV6%
2012/04/2322:016Bristol, WisconsinV4%
2012/09/3023:327Antioch, IllinoisV99%
2012/11/1323:186Bristol, WisconsinV0%
2013/09/1006:053Thompson Falls, MontanaV29%
2013/10/0203:036Missoula, MontanaV5%
2014/02/1902:336Washington, IllinoisV81%
2014/10/0100:364Ontonagon, MichiganV50%
2015/03/1703:096Washington, IllinoisV13%
2015/03/1721:146Sparland, IllinoisV9%
2015/04/1701:305Dunlap, IllinoisP3%
2015/05/1300:226Dunlap, IllinoisV29%
2015/06/2300:208Blue Mounds, WisconsinV38%
2015/07/1301:505Manito, IllinoisP8%
2015/08/1200:173Copper Harbor, MichiganV5%
2015/08/1222:564Ontonagon, MichiganV3%
2015/08/1522:276Washington, IllinoisP1%
2015/08/271:566Washington, IllinoisP92%
2015/09/0721:246Camp Grove, IllinoisP25%
2015/10/080:486Camp Grove, IllinoisV18%
2015/11/071:436Camp Grove, IllinoisV16%
2016/07/1922:516Lodge Grass, MontanaP100%
2016/08/030:225Dayton, WyomingV0%
2016/08/104:084Buffalo, WyomingP50%
2016/08/121:144Clark, WyomingP65%
2016/09/013:054Barnum, WyomingV0%
2016/09/0323:586Dayton, WyomingV5%
2016/09/2723:415Lodge Grass, MontanaV9%
2016/09/290:485Sheridan, WyomingV2%
2016/09/2921:555Medora, North DakotaV1%
2016/09/3022:144Watford City, North DakotaP0%
2017/03/031:465Dayton, WyomingP30%
2017/03/280:295Decker, MontanaV0%
2017/04/200:456Dayton, WyomingV41%
2017/05/203:016Buffalo, WyomingV36%
2017/05/282:027Sheridan, WyomingV11%
2017/08/2223:314Quebec, CanadaV2%
2017/09/080:088Ólafsvík, IcelandV94%
2017/09/110:284Ásólfsskáli, IcelandV69%
2017/09/280:187West Poplar, Saskatchewan, CanadaV51%
2017/09/2820:493Val Marie, Saskatchewan, CanadaV57%
2017/10/141:135Dayton, WyomingV20%
2017/11/074:234Buffalo, WyomingP83%
2017/11/0719:476Dayton, WyomingV80%
2018/01/220:443Buffalo, WyomingP27%
2018/04/102:354Decker, MontanaP30%
2018/08/260:277Decker, MontanaV100%
2018/09/040:073Buffalo, WyomingP37%
2018/09/111:276Shawmut, MontanaV4%
2018/11/053:155Parkman, WyomingV6%
2019/02/011:005St. Xavier, MontanaV10%
2019/03/1023:280Abisko, SwedenV16%
2019/03/1123:221Abisko, SwedenV19%
2019/03/1221:151Abisko, SwedenV28%
2019/03/170:405Björkliden, SwedenV80%
2019/03/310:194Buffalo, WyomingV20%
2019/05/140:207Sheridan, WyomingV76%
2019/07/101:215Big Horn, WyomingV60%
2019/08/300:335Buffalo, WyomingV0%
2019/09/011:445Lewistown, MontanaV7%
2019/09/0222:394Square Butte, MontanaV11%
2019/09/0223:293Neihart, MontanaV19%
2019/09/050:454Sheridan, WyomingV40%

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