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Posts tagged: Aurora Borealis

It’s coming! It’s coming!

Good evening, Netizens…


If you are somewhat paranoid, prone to ethereal blasts of half-baked fantasy or otherwise have been following some of the believers in latter-day theorists, perhaps you might want to don your tinfoil aluminum hats and dive into your custom-built underground shelter because a solar storm has been reported by the National Space Weather Prediction Center which, if predictions are correct, might arrive on Earth sometime beginning the 16th through the 18th.


After the initial blast of radiation accompanying the coronal mass ejection (CME) — the first of its magnitude to occur in the new solar cycle of activity — a huge cloud of charged particles is headed toward Earth and is expected possible to wreck mild-mannered havoc with high frequency communications. Among the many potential disasters that can come from a massive CME: disturbances in the planet’s geomagnetic field that may lead to malfunctioning telecom and GPS satellite equipment. However, the current CME does not appear to be that serious, although there are already reports of radio disruptions in Southern China.


What we may see here locally are some of the finest aurora borealis or Northern Lights that we have seen since 2006. Or perhaps, if you are among those blessed with a more vivid imagination, perhaps we will discover President Obama's true solution for our national budget. Your results, may differ.



Northern lights a no-show in Spokane…

Good morning, Netizens…

I was hopeful. However, I also accepted that the night skies somewhat overcast with smoke and haze might not be the ideal situation for viewing of Northern Lights. Still, I optimistically set up my lawn chair occasionally glancing at the northern horizon in the hopes of seeing a flash of color. Since I had to be in bed early, because mornings start just before dawn around here, I hedged my bet by asking a friend who lives well outside the city lights if he would perhaps stay up a bit later in the hopes of seeing the elusive aurora borealis.

While I haven’t heard an official word from the talking news heads on television, northern lights were a definite no-show last night, even from my friend’s home outside Springdale, Washington which is about as far from the city lights as one could wish for.

I’ve seen, or rather heard Northern Lights several times before. My first caught me unawares on the highway leading to Juneau, Alaska nearly 30 years ago. I had stopped the truck on a particularly lonely stretch of highway to stretch my legs and answer nature’s call approximately three hours before dawn. I had just completed my “walk-around” the truck, checking tail and marker lights and tires, when I heard what sounded like someone hissing at me. I spun around, fearful that one of the indigenous wildlife forms of Alaska had crept up on me unawares, but no.

It was just the aurora whispering in the snow. I could plainly see the lights as they shifted and moved across the sky. No one has ever explained how or why this sound happens, but I later learned from some “old hands” at the business of driving long-haul trucks in our Northernmost state that aurora is just part of the many mysteries of Alaska.

I had such high hopes, but aurora sightings are actually quite rare in Washington State, especially when you factor in city lights. Perhaps if we have another solar eruption similar to earlier this week, we might still have a chance. One never knows.


What is it?

Good morning, Netizens…

Take a close look at this picture shot over Norway and see if you can define what it is. Scientists, UFO-ologists and various others have tried, and the closest they can come, according to various news wires, is that this is a picture of a Russian missile in its dying last moments. Still some others are insisting this is Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, which are quite common in Northern Norway on the Arctic Circle.

According to various news agencies, The Bulava missile was test-fired from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea early on Wednesday but failed at the third stage, say newspapers in Moscow today. However, the Russians are denying that the submarine launched any missiles.

I have been far enough north in the United States and Europe that you could read by the Northern Lights in total darkness. During my sojourns in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, it was related to me that if you went out on the ice you could hear the sounds of the Aurora as it rasped across the ice shelf. Despite all its splendor, I never saw anything even closely resembling this strange event.

Was it a missile gone astray or aliens putting on a lightshow for the Norwegians? That is a dandy question.


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