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Rick7

Great Show...Aurora Borialis ?

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There I was fishing in the bay facing west and watching the sunset,and fishing.Then I turn to head in (East) and the sky is radiating red ,an unbeleavable sight&getting brighter as it got darker.If it wasn't an aurora,it was a sunset like I have never seen before.Did anyone else see the light show tonight,it is still faintly pink to the north east and it is way been dark for almost an hour.To sum it up....breathtaking!

 

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Rick

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I saw that too! I thought it was just the way the sun was hitting the clouds. Anybody else see this and know what it is?

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You guys were looking in my direction. I didn't hear of any big fires on LI tonight, but that might be a possibility. The times I've seen the Aurora Borealis, it has been either in the northern or northwestern sky, not to the northeast, and it's been a whiteish blue or green, not red. I've seen lingering glows in the western sky for hours after dark many times, but this is a new one on me. I should say that in early summer, around the time of the solstice, on the east facing beaches of the Cape, you'd see that subtle pre-dawn glow in the east very early in the night. But we're 2-1/2 months away from that. Interesting, hope someone can shed some light (no pun intended smile.gif ) on this.

 

[This message has been edited by Ditch Jigger (edited 04-06-2000).]

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I'm with Ditch here, I've seen the spectacular Northern Lights a good many times in northern central Canada....and even 1000 miles west of here...the "lights" are in the north-western to almost directly overhead direction. If you've even seen them in all thier glory on a ink black deep Canadian night....it's almost emotional...how something so absolutely breath taking can just "happen" like that! The blues-greens-purples...like light waving...appearing and disappearing in an almost rolling ethereal kinda way. It's moving to say the least....

 

I don't think what you saw to the north east could have been the "lights"...but who knows! I've not seen any shade of red in them ever, in the couple dozen times I've seen them they were always cool green/blue/violets.

 

TimS

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I read an article recently in the New York Times science section about a peak in solar flare activity causing the northern lights to be visible further south of their usual range.It also mentioned the appearance of shades of pink that are not usually visible to the human eye.Unfortunetly I didn't save the article,but maybe this is what you witnessed

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I caught the show last night between 8:30 and 9:30. The display in my area streched across the entire sky from NE to SW and as I observed it at different intervals it produced the sheets of illumination that to me identify it as the aurora borealis.

 

When it appears this far south it most likely is compromised from its northern coloration by the amount of polution in our atmosphere. Anyway thats my guess, it was an unusual event for certain.

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Nils is right...2000 is a solar maximum. There will be a great deal more solar activity this year than in previous years. One of the things that increases are solar flares. Solar Flares cause the 'Northern Lights' effect. If you missed them last night don't worry, they should be around all year! The bad news is that the increased solar activity can wreak havoc on satellites and cellular phones! maybe the Y2K bug is just waking up?!?!?

 

To find out more check out: http://www.sunspotcycle.com/

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Here's a lil' sumthin' I found about it:

 

While Taurus and Gemini are still up, a casual glance shows that the ecliptic runs right through these constellations; the line rises steeply from the horizon. The ecliptic in this position improves the possibility of viewing the reflected glow of sunlight off billions of particles of dust that lie in the plane of our solar system left by eons of cometary passes. Called the zodiacal light, this glow is somewhat fainter than the

Milky Way, but from observing sites far from city lights, and especially from altitudes above a thousand feet, the cone of light along the ecliptic is unforgettable. Moonless nights during March and April are the best times in the evening to view its ethereal glow, but there are always other opportunities if clouds or light pollution hamper your chances this spring.

 

Dunno if it's relevant, but it sounds like the "thing" that was seen last night! BTW, any of you guys witnessing this last night find the elusive unicorn? wink.gif

 

TimS

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Tim Good reply,

 

Light reflecting type of effects are often enhanced by increased air pollution. Air pollution in general tends to reflect the red spectrum. So sunsets and other light anomolies tend to be more spectacular with higher concentration of air pollution. But this usally only happens when the light anomoly is low in the horizon and one is looking through "alot" of these particles.

 

RCM

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I saw this up here in northern Jersey and originally thought it was sunlight reflecting off of extremely high clouds. But if you all saw it over such a wide area, I don't think clouds could account for it.

 

From where I saw it there was a definate partial cone shape to the light. The tip of the cone was SE of directly overhead. There were very clear radiating lines that were shorter in the northeast but stretched to the horizon in the southwest.

 

It was very impressive, whatever it was.

 

Mike

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I didn't see the lights last night but I would have bet anything that it couldn't be the Aurora. It should be centered around the magnetic pole, which is northwest of here as was mentioned above. However, I just heard a newsreport on CBS radio that said there is a severe magnetic storm occuring and the northern lights should be visible all the way down to Maryland tonight. If it doesn't get too cloudy, I'm going to take a look tonight.

Arne

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At least I wasn't seeing things wink.gif,but this wasn't easy to explain.My view was from the NE to about due west,never passing the crescant moon.Started as a red sheeting glow that seemed to radiate,as time passed a blue white center formed and got real bright before the event started to fade. Waves of light seemed to run through the (?),and the light seemed to be in rays like a Japeneese styliezed sunrise.Sorry to miss some detail last night<I was psyched to watch it fade from my deck

 

Tim your Zodiacal lights sound about right,with the range of reports,it certainaly wasn't a local event.

 

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Rick

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