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Aurora Borealis- Northern LIghts for Dummies :D

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by tpet96, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    Hey gang. I'm a big geomagnetic buff, if you haven't followed my posts yet on here. Anyways....there was a HUGE solar flare that kicked up off the sun 2 days ago, and the storm just arrived tonight. Anywho.......I had a Strong feeling there would be some major activity, so I took 2 hrs off work to see it. Guess what?!? Awesome show. I would imagine even Southern Ohio will be seeing this one. Awesome green rays going way up into the sky, with a few reds mixed in from time to time. You can see many waving arches just cruising through the sky at times. Starting to fade now, but don't fret. There was another Major flare today.....and it is expected to arrive tomorrow night through Wednesday Night. With the cold clear weather, you should be in for a spectacular show. Just look to Magnetic North (This time of year it is NNNW) and up about 35-45 DEG into the sky.

    This time around is special for me. My grandfather passed away a few weeks ago as many of you know. He used to be stationed in Iceland when he was in the airforce, and he used to see some awesome light displays up there. Anyways, he is the one that got me hooked into watching them. We used to spend countless nights when I was younger this time of year just gazing into the sky to watch them. The past few years have been very dry for the activity this far south. He and I were just talking about them and hoping to see them again this year.....one of the last conversations I had with him. Guess somebody kept their promise ;) Hope all of you get the opportunity to get out in the next 2 nights to see what is in store for us.

    http://www.spacew.com/

    http://www.sec.noaa.gov/rt_plots/kp_3d.html

    http://www.sec.noaa.gov/pmap/index.html
     
  2. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

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    my sympathies on the loss of your grandfather.....my grandfather (the only one i had ever known) passed away recently as well.

    Ive never seen the Northern Lights......

    is there a "prime time" of the night to watch? Or is anytime at night good?

    Which night are the lights expected to be most intense?

    Thanks for the heads up.....
     

  3. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    Just keep an eye on the second link I gave you. You need a KP of at least 7 (Better if 8) to see them this far South. It went off the chart last night, and I expect it to happen again either tonight or tomorrow night. Hopefully the latest flare will peg the northern Hemisphere again while it is dark here. Otherwise, we likely won't see them. I have seen them during the day one time. Not as neat, but definately odd to see them during daylight. This time of year is easiest to see them because of the angle of the earth, as well as colder nights mean clearer skies/atmosphere. Was definately a good show last night.
     
  4. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    Looks like it's going to be a little later than predicted. Tonight (Tue. Night) might be a good night now. Here is the latest report:

    MIDDLE LATITUDE AURORAL ACTIVITY WATCH UPGRADED TO A WARNING
    Issued: 20:15 UTC on 07 November 2004
    Solar Terrestrial Dispatch
    www.spacew.com


    VALID BEGINNING AT: EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
    VALID UNTIL: 23:00 UTC (6 pm EST) ON 10 NOVEMBER

    HIGH RISK PERIOD: 07-08, THEN 09 NOVEMBER (UTC DAYS)
    MODERATE RISK PERIOD: 07-10 NOVEMBER

    PREDICTED ACTIVITY INDICES: 30, 45, 60, 30 (07 NOVEMBER - 10 NOVEMBER)

    POTENTIAL MAGNITUDE OF MIDDLE LATITUDE AURORAL ACTIVITY: MODERATE TO HIGH

    POTENTIAL DURATION OF THIS ACTIVITY: MAIN BELT = 12 HOURS
    MINOR BELT = 18 - 24 HOURS

    ESTIMATED OPTIMUM OBSERVING CONDITIONS: NEAR LOCAL MIDNIGHT

    EXPECTED LUNAR INTERFERENCE: LOW AFTER LOCAL MIDNIGHT

    OVERALL OPPORTUNITY FOR OBSERVATIONS FROM MIDDLE LATITUDES: FAIR TO GOOD

    AURORAL ACTIVITY *MAY* BE OBSERVED APPROXIMATELY NORTH OF A LINE FROM...
    (THIS LINE IS VALID *ONLY* IF FAVORABLE STORM CONDITIONS OCCUR)

    NORTHERN OREGON TO NORTHERN UTAH TO WYOMING TO NEBRASKA TO NORTHERN
    MISSOURI TO ILLINOIS TO KENTUCKY TO VIRGINIA.

    ACTIVITY *MAY* ALSO BE OBSERVED APPROXIMATELY NORTH OF A LINE FROM...
    (THIS LINE IS VALID *ONLY* IF FAVORABLE STORM CONDITIONS OCCUR)

    NORTHERN FRANCE TO CENTRAL GERMANY TO CENTRAL POLAND TO BELARUS TO CENTRAL
    RUSSIA.

    NEW ZEALAND AND SOUTHERN REGIONS OF AUSTRALIA MAY ALSO OBSERVE PERIODS OF
    ACTIVITY.

    SYNOPSIS...

    A moderately strong solar disturbance impacted the Earth near 18:27 UTC
    on 07 November. This disturbance was larger than anticipated and is producing
    periods of enhanced auroral activity. More significant storm-level auroral
    activity is expected over the next 12 to 18 hours as this disturbance
    matures. Widespread observations of auroral activity may be possible tonight.

    Another potentially strong disturbance could arrive on 09 November.
    Analysis of the solar event is still in-progress. We expect the latter half
    of the UTC day of 08 November to be less active and then pick up again when
    this next disturbance arrives.

    This warning will remain valid through 23:00 UTC (6 pm EST) on
    10 November. It will then be updated, downgraded to a watch or allowed to
    expire altogether.
     
  5. CoolWater

    CoolWater Multi-Species Fanatic

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather, it's neat that you have something you continue to share with him after his passing...

    These "Northern Lights" seem very interesting and the pic from the news herald was awesome... i may have missed it in the posts but what time should we start to look for these? If tonight there is a possibility of a good show I will drive over to the lake and try to get some pics- and post them here. Thanks...
     
  6. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    It's really hard to predict when or where they will "light up" if you will. I stick with all of my online sources, and go from there. I have a program that sounds an alarm, and will message my cell phone if and when the geomagnetic levels reach a level that I have set to page me.

    Best time for viewing is always around 12:00 Midnight local time, depending on the phase of the moon. The moon is almost non-existant right now, so that is almost best. If that above link, the KP index link, is at a 7 or higher (is at 7 at 9:00AM here today.....so if it stays that way, start looking at the skies at sunset), you will likely see them. A 9 or higher is best for down here. The pictures that were taken do not do them justice.

    There's no way to describe it unless you see it first hand. Bob Bernowski "Buckeye Bob" on here used to live in Wisconsin and Alaska. He and I had a great conversation about them one time. He used to see some awesome displays in both states.......especially Alaska. I called my brother last night who lives in Sun Prairie Wisconsin. He was out until the wee hours of the morning watching them.
     
  7. crappielooker

    crappielooker The Corn Chucker

    maan..froze my butt last night looking up..saw nothing..
     
  8. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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  9. crappielooker

    crappielooker The Corn Chucker

    will do..saw it once when i was in wisconsin..pretty awesome sight..
    i'll drink some paulaner to keep me warm..;)
     
  10. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Keep us updated if possible, this would be really interesting to see. Then again I live in a big city with lots of light pollution :(
     
  11. crappielooker

    crappielooker The Corn Chucker

    i do too maan..that's why i had to walk over to the park..
     
  12. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

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    Did you manage to see them tonight Ak? Saw them again tonight, although not nearly as bright as Sunday night. Still see the green glow in behind the clouds that are now starting to filter in. Just happened to check the charts, and we just had another decent sized solar flare a couple of hours ago. Looks like it will hit on Friday......if the projections are right. Supposed to be clear and cold Friday night too. Might be another opportunity. :)
     
  13. crappielooker

    crappielooker The Corn Chucker

    yeah maan..saw some green glows out there..i really should find a darker spot tho..
     
  14. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun Relaxing.

    thanks tpet i saw them on my drive home sunday was pretty cool or what i thought i saw wife thought i was crazy. was neat would love to go up and see the real thing
     
  15. catking

    catking Banned

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    You also get a good look at Jupitor and Venus in the south east skys in the early morning by the moon. Really bright, both of them..CATKING
     
  16. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

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    hey king i noticed that too about 2 mornings ago....it was perfect.....figured that was venus but wasnt sure about the other (jupiter)

    a while ago Orion was perfectly due south in the morning as well....that was a sight to behold.