Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Aurora Borealis

If you come from a part of the world where the aurora is never seen, the first time you see it can be breath taking and rather magickal. For some people, like me, it is breath taking no matter how many times you see it. That was the case on Monday night for sure.

We were leaving a friends house around 9:3o pm EST when we looked up and saw the beginning of a green ribbon. PeterC fetched the others from inside and we watched as the sky lit up from horizon to horizon with greens, yellows, and the most intense reds I've ever seen in my life. At one point we saw a starburst pattern right over head that indicated we were standing under the exact centre of one of the magnetic bursts and were seeing it spread out from the centre.

Spaceweather.com has all kinds of interesting information on this particular event and if you are a space geek at all you will find this site very informative. The movie of the coronal explosion responsible for the light show on Monday night is both interesting and a little frightening, especially when you realize just how big that solar flare was.

Since moving to Ontario I have seen no aurora, being far to south for it to be visible most of the time. Monday was once of those rare occasions when the aurora could be seen here. In fact, if the Internet is to be trusted, this particular magnetic storm was visible as far south as Alabama. Extremely rare in my experience. It was well worth the wait.

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