Missed the Northern Lights Last Night

ex-minister
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Missed the Northern Lights Last Night

Dang. I was unaware of this til today. I always thought I would have to travel to close to the arctic circle to see such a thing. Did anyone see it? Can you know something like this is going to happen?

 

AccuWeather wrote:

There was a rare and beautiful display of the Northern Lights across parts of the U.S., as far south as Georgia, Monday night.

  The green and red glow of the Aurora Borealis was seen in the midlatitudes due to a strong geomagnetic storm in progress. NOAA describes a geomagnetic storm as a disturbance "in the geomagnetic field caused by gusts in the solar wind that blows by Earth". The Northern Lights occur when the solar wind interacts with the Earth's magnetic field.   A large dome of high pressure over the lower Mississippi Valley promoted generally clear viewing conditions of the Northern Lights across the balance of the Southeast and parts of the Midwest and the Northeast.   Unfortunately, clouds and some rain began to roll eastward into portions of the Upper Midwest ahead of a storm in the northern Rockies. The rain streaked across North Dakota, northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.    This blocked the view of the peak of the phenomenon for some communities. A cold front in the Northeast brought some hindering clouds and showers to some cities and towns. Thick clouds hovered over the major I-95 cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City.  
 

 http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/56836/rare-magnificent-northern-ligh-1.asp

Last night from Michigan

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Brian37
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And you call yourself an

And you call yourself an atheist..........Tisk tisk.

I cant say much myself, a little Yingling last night got me distracted.

It would be interesting to see some of the human myths invented in the past in attempt to explain this natural event,

Oh and, this pretty light is actually a fraction of what the sun can do to us and if we got a really really huge one, which we will at some point, it can be very destructive.

When I see nature and hear some stupid "That's pretty, so therefore god" argument I want to bitch slap them.

I once had  guy point at the night time sky and say "look at how pretty and organized that is, it couldn't have just happened". I said "If it is so pretty, take a space shuttle up to orbit, take a space walk, and take your helmet off, you'll find out how "pretty" it is".

They never consider that "pretty" is one aspect of nature and often that "prettiness" is a result of very destructive nature. Without our atmosphere to filter out that radiation those "pretty lights" would kill us.

 

 

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ex-minister
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Great response to the pretty

Great response to the pretty night equals god statement.

Any anomaly in the sky is jeebus hand. I forget the details now but I am sure gramps knows, the Millerites used some sky stuff as validation of their wacky religion. I think it was shooting stars. Will have to revisit that.

Still would like to know if the northern lights can be predicted. I am thinking no because the suns light is only 8 minutes away and it ain't pretty but volitale.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


cj
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ex-minister wrote:Great

ex-minister wrote:
Great response to the pretty night equals god statement. Any anomaly in the sky is jeebus hand. I forget the details now but I am sure gramps knows, the Millerites used some sky stuff as validation of their wacky religion. I think it was shooting stars. Will have to revisit that. Still would like to know if the northern lights can be predicted. I am thinking no because the suns light is only 8 minutes away and it ain't pretty but volitale.

 

Not something I have paid much attention to.  I vaguely recall something about magnetic fields and sun activity.  So there is some predictability, but not a real long lead time.  Maybe AiGS knows as he is the amateur astronomer around here.

 

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The northern lights, or

The northern lights, or aurora borealis (in the south, I believe they have an aurora austrialis (sp?)), occur when charged particles shot out from the sun encounter the Earth's magnetosphere (or is it the ionosphere?) and interact with it to produce various frequencies of light, as they are deflected off into space.

Whenever a solar flare (often associated with sun spots) sprays the Earth with a bunch of energetic particles, you'll get these light patterns in a night sky.

Since these particles travel slower than light, and solar flares and sun spots are visible/detectable via telescope, there should be some significant ability to predict these events.

At least 8 minutes in advance*, for a direct flare coming straight at us, or perhaps much earlier for an existing flare/spray which sweeps across the orbital path of the Earth over a period of time. In the latter case, it might be somewhat equivalent to predicting the path of a hurricane; not so accurate at first, and increasing in accuracy the closer it gets to passing over the Earth.

However, I'm not sure if there is any actual organization making such predictions/forecasts--though I would bet $5 there is. I'm just too lazy to google it right now.

Edit: *D'oh! I just realized that makes no sense. It has nothing to do with 8 minutes. That would be the time it would take light to travel to earth. But that's irrelevant to the question of how far in advance you could predict the aurora particles.

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I miss them more often than

I miss them more often than not. Still getting used to the idea we can predict them now.
But I'm fortunate in my locale, and have seen them a number of times. Probably one of the only things I miss about security was being up all night and having a few days (for me they were days, not nights) a year with spectacular displays in the sky.

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ex-minister
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Totally envious V. What part

Totally envious V.
What part of the world do you live in?

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


Vastet
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Ontario, Canada. Problem is

Ontario, Canada. Problem is I've found them most likely to show between 1am and 3am.
While you can often tell they're there even when cloudy, it's not nearly as vivid a display, and more likely to be a single colour instead of multicolour.
One thing no picture will tell you about the lights is that it's not a static image. Waves of energy constantly run through them, making for an awesome show.

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HumanVuvuzela
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I've never embedded a video

I've never embedded a video before, but I was just on facebook and saw that the local science tv show I follow posted this link to a time-lapse video of the aurora borealis taken from the International Space Station. Pretty cool. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSlaRV9tEn0