Northern Lights peek out in Eastern Washington

Northern Lights shine over Keller, Wash. on May 17, 2013. (Photo: Rocky Rabell)

As we mentioned in the blog Thursday, there's a particularly active sunspot on the sun right now.

It had, as its opening salvo while starting to face the Earth, unleashed a moderately strong solar flare that reached us late Friday, triggering a display of the Northern Lights that reached as far south as Colorado.

A faint display was also visible in Eastern Washington, where Rocky Raybell had his camera out and ready. He snapped these three photos from Keller, Washington which is in Ferry County.

"A little after 10pm it was dark enough for the aurora to begin to show through breaks in the clouds. The combination with the moonlight was nice, until it clouded completely over and began to rain," Raybell wrote on his YouNews page. "As late as 3am I could still see the glow through the clouds in the north."

He says he used photo ISOs 1600 and 3200 with exposures of 6 to 10 seconds to get these images.

Raybell is a frequent contributor to us and sounds like he'll be out again this weekend as more solar flares arrive. We'll probably need a stronger solar flare to see the lights around Seattle and Portland but the sunspot has a history of unleashing some doozies