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   Undertoad  Tuesday Nov 4 01:25 PM

11/4/2003: Auroras

Both Elspode and Beletseri have sent along great aurora items. The above is a shot taken from Oklahoma, incredibly as that may sound. It makes me sorrier that I have never seen it.

This one is from a collection that Beletseri found here. She then found another collection here. Both are thumbnailed galleries; the second is from one photographer in Finland; and it's all very cool and amazing.

Tomorrow: the same thing from a different angle.

Elspode  Tuesday Nov 4 02:52 PM

City lights and cloudiness have prevented me from seeing the recent auroral outbursts which have occurred in conjunction with the very active sunspot region which has been moving across the face of the sun these past couple of weeks. Three more CMEs were observed today, but they were not pointed directly at Earth. However, because the ejected material spreads outward in a sphere from the point of ejection, the Earth will catch some of it, and more middle latitude aurorae are expected in the next couple of days. Go to to keep track of things.

I've seen aurorae several times in the past from right here in KC. it is a truly amazing thing, infrequent though it may be. Most of them have been just whitish rays of shifting light projecting up from the horizon, but I have seen some really cool red and orange patches come and go as well.

warch  Tuesday Nov 4 04:18 PM

Too damn cloudy here. Grrr. Although we did get our first snow.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 4 07:01 PM

I've seen the whitish rays, that elspode refered to, up in MA. But nothing compared to the light shows I saw in Canada and Alaska.

Bitman  Tuesday Nov 4 08:17 PM

Lemme take a shot at spoiling tommorow's picture. I'm partial to the 'force field' effect in this shot. But Saturn's got pretty cool aurorae too.

Whit  Wednesday Nov 5 09:33 AM

      Um, not to spoil that first shot for anyone, but that's not the Aurora. That's actually Courage the Cowardly Dog's house. This just means he must be saving Muriel from something bad again. Stupid dog.

chrisinhouston  Wednesday Nov 5 10:11 AM has some really nice images of the sun giving off the solar flares that are the cause of auroras.

There should be more great aruoras as we approach the weekend as another HUGE flare happened today. They say this one is way off the scale but not direceted straight at earth.

Elspode  Wednesday Nov 5 01:07 PM

Yup...the latest flare is the largest ever seen in the modern era, and maybe the largest ever. It completely blinded one of the satellites used to measure such things, for a period of *11 minutes*. There were radio blackouts reported from the radiation, which arrived 9 minutes after the flare (light travel time, doncha know). The particles associated with the flare will strike the Earth a glancing blow sometime on Thursday, so keep your eyes open at night. Could be another good light show, even though it isn't a direct hit, what with the size of the event.

It has been cloudy here for days and days...

Uryoces  Wednesday Nov 5 01:48 PM

Originally posted by Bitman Lemme take a shot at spoiling tommorow's picture. I'm partial to the 'force field' effect in this shot. But Saturn's got pretty cool aurorae too.
Good choice of words because the earth' upper atmosphere is the force field in this case. I've seen the aurora several times. I think best times were back in September 1987, and March 1991. I was in Wenatchee in 1987. That's Eastern Washington; absolutely clear of light pollution. In 1991 I was in Olympia, WA. I was sitting by the side of a small lake in the woods on the outskirts of town. The aurora were amazingly bright, and ranged from the northern horizon to directly overhead. It looked like slow red and green fire. Very awe-inspiring.

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