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Simply Psychedelic Skies

Dear <<First Name>>,

The holiday season is underway and the skies are already noteworthy. Between some gorgeous aurora views decorating the higher latitudes for more than a week and a streaking bolide from the Unicorn meteor shower exploding over southern Wisconsin, we have been treated to simply psychedelic skies. As reports of the bolide continue to surface, it turns out the meteor was witnessed streaking across the sky as far north as Ontario, Canada and as far south as southern California, USA!

To me, this is a fantastic way to begin the count down to the new year. This upcoming year also marks when we should see the Sun awaken from its long solar minimum slumber. Although it is hard to pin down an exact date, most scientists do agree 2020 will be the year we see the Sun become active again. If the Sun's behavior is any indication, we are right on time. Recently our star has been showing consistent signs of waking up, evidenced in higher solar flux values and better radio propagation, as well as more high latitude bright regions emerging with new cycle polarity. In fact, we have a bright region on the Sun's farside right now that looks to be yet another Solar Cycle 25 sunspot! We will know for sure as it rotates into Earth view within the few days.

As for the forecast this week, I share some great field reporting on that bolide over Wisconsin along with a few captures of the aurora. (One shot, thanks to Notanee Bourassa, even captures a beautiful Unicorn meteor streak in the aurora.) I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am that we may soon be embracing an ever-more active Sun. But while we have been kept waiting, I will not forget we have been enchanted by noctilucent clouds, meteor strikes on Mars, and bolides at Earth over aurora-lit skies. These experiences have only served to deepen my appreciation for how Space Weather affects us each and every day. So when our star begins to fire X-class flares again and all eyes turn back towards the Sun, I will remember these other wonders. And I will remember the role they play in making our skies simply psychedelic.

A Coronal Hole in the Strike Zone & A Meteor Explodes Over Wisconsin | Space Weather News 11.28.2019
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