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Northern Lights Goes Nuts In Nebraska

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  • Some say we can get the Northern Lights as south as Massachusetts but I have yet to see it in my 20 year existance
  • by LakeSolon (699033) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:26PM (#10835545) Homepage
    Should stand up to a /.ing fairly well, they seem to be coloed at Level3.net in Seattle.

    http://www.level3.com/userimages/dotcom/images/map s/Colocation_Map.GIF [level3.com]

    ~Lake
  • Nice! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eingram (633624) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:29PM (#10835583)
    I'd love to move further north just so I could experience this phenomenon (and the cooler climate would great, too).

    I also need to get away from this god awful light pollution.

    Very nice photographs. Do you have higher resolution versions available?
    • Actually, your entire site is full of great photos. :)
    • If I weren't such a city slicker, I'd go too... My family lives in Greenland and I'd move there, but dammit if I wanna be stuck on some backwater island a hundred miles from nowhere (they live on an small island up there).
      • Re:Nice! (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        My family lives in Greenland and I'd move there ... they live on an small island up there.

        Greenland small? On all the maps I see it's bigger than all of South America.

        What? Mercator projection? What's that?
        • Since Greenland is considered the largest island on this planet, the poster is clearly referring to a small island associated with Greenland, not the island of Greenland itself.

          If you care to look at a map you will see that the coast of Greenland is dotted with 'small islands'.

          http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ gl.html [cia.gov]

          • by MrPeach (43671)
            You'll also notice that most maps are a Mercator Projection, which makes things pole-ish look really a lot larger than they actually are. For example, Greenland looks the size of Africa on most Mercator maps. In actuality, it is (839,999 sq miles) a little less then 1/4th the size of the USA (3,536,278 sq miles). If you take into account that it is only 19% usable, that leaves only 159,600 sq miles of habitable land, which is slightly larger than the state of California (but a lot less hospitable).
    • Re:Nice! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tommyboyprime (694285) *
      I don't know if many Slashdotters know it but the Japanese believe that conceiving a child under the Northern Lights is a good luck thing. It seems that travel companies book tours to Alaska just for this reason.
  • Holy T&L (Score:4, Funny)

    by AbsurdProverb (831079) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:32PM (#10835617)
    God must be running one of those new ATI cards.
  • Damn! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by over_exposed (623791) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:33PM (#10835638) Homepage
    Damn damn damn! I had this link sent to me by a mutual friend 5 days ago! I should have submitted it... Oh well... I'll live. BY THE WAY - check out the rest of his site - he has some amazing pictures of tornados and lighting storms as well. This guy is one ballsy, talented photographer.

    • check out the rest of his site - he has some amazing pictures of tornados and lighting storms as well.

      Yes, definitely some impressive stuff. I must say, however, that the banner on the home page is making me extremely instable...

  • As seen from space (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linuxwrangler (582055) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:36PM (#10835679)
    The auroras were spectacular from space ase well as today's photo [spaceweather.com] from spaceweather.com shows:
    • Good god, look over at Newfoundland. Did anyone survive?!
    • Wow, what a photo.

      It was really really strange that night. I got home around midnight in Minneapolis, and saw dim aurora straight overhead, but the brightest lights were to the SOUTH.

      One usually doesn't expect "northern" lights to the south. :)

      - Peter
  • I wonder (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheAxeMaster (762000) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:40PM (#10835729)

    I wonder if this has anything to do with a pole shift? I know the aurora are caused by solar wind particles coming down the tops of the magnetic field lines of the earth, and there have been theories for years about certain times in the history of the earth the poles flipped.

    I guess it's possible anyway......
    • Re:I wonder (Score:3, Informative)

      by dtolman (688781)
      The two episodes of unusually active aurora's over the past year have more to do with the sun than the Earth.

      Though I have read that a side effect of the magnetic pole flip when it does come could be more wide-spread aurora activity...

    • It's thought that for a time after a pole shift, the Earths magnetic field weakens or disapears. Ignoring the huge consequences to life as we know it that that entails, it should make for a great light show.

      The magnetic poles have been measurably accelerating over the last several years, from ~10 kmh to ~40kmh, maybe it's time. It's moving north though. I recently did some research on just this subject, and it's quite suprising just how little is known. We don't know for sure why the Earth has a magnetic f

  • I live by Blair, NE and witnessed the Northern Lights. It's the first time I've ever seen them in Nebraska, and I've lived here almost 20 years. Have scientists figured Northern Lights out yet? They are pretty stinkin' cool.
  • by empaler (130732) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:48PM (#10835824) Journal
    I haven't seen the northern lights since I was on a plane between New York and Iceland a few years back... It was so beautiful that my eyes startered watering...

    Do yourself a favor: See the northern lights before you die...
  • I caught an incredible view of the northern lights in New Mexico in 2000. Latitude 34.1 N.

    It was a few hours after a huge solar flare, as you might expect.
  • Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by pbrammer (526214) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @05:54PM (#10835885)
    This may be of interest to some: http://sec.noaa.gov/pmap/ [noaa.gov]

    Contains forecasts and historical data plots.

    Phil
  • by Vokbain (657712) *
    We saw the northern lights pretty bright the other night downtown here in Lethbridge Alberta, Canada. I've never seen them from inside the city before. It was impressive.
  • by El (94934)
    Growing up in Alaska, I've seen the Aurora Borealis many times... but it is almost always just the phosphor green color. The red coloration is actually quite rare; I've seen it in person only once, and remember it only dimly. I assume these shots are all facing north. I'm also impressed with the quality of the digital photos. My old Kodak D210 definitely couldn't take night shots like that!
  • I saw them out the window of my plane somewhere over nebraska last night. They were still pretty bright.

    A couple years ago, I was on a flight into Reykjavik, and they were simply amazing.

  • by leighklotz (192300) on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @08:04PM (#10837244) Homepage

    When there is lots of aurora, the ionospheric reflection of radio is also perturbed. Read this description [arrl.org] of the week from the RF point of view. In summary, the High Frequencies (3-30MHz) lose out, but he Very High Frequencies (30-300Mhz) gain. In particular, the 6 meter (50MHz) ham band showed some interesting reflections. For reference, that's right around tv Channel 2 in the US. Imagine not only being able to see Aurora, but sense them with your own radio and talk to someone by bouncing radio waves off of the aurora!



    VA2VYZ [qrz.com] has some nice aurora pictures [mac.com] from Quebec.

  • by Creosote (33182) * on Tuesday November 16, 2004 @08:48PM (#10837668) Homepage
    The photos here reminded me of the first time I saw the Aurora Borealis, as a kid on vacation with family at Yellowstone National Park. We were staying at the Old Faithful Inn, and after dark wandered onto the porch to find a fairly impressive display of the lights in the northern sky. A woman near us pulled out her Instamatic camera (precursor to today's disposables, basically, fixed-focus cheapies) and started snapping flash pictures of the lights.

    My parents did a good job of not laughing until she went back inside...
  • I have one one occasion in the late 80s or early 90s seen (barely) an aurora display from Northern California (around 50 miles north of San Francisco).

    This past July, near Moscow, Idaho, on a trip to a very dark rural roadside to watch stars, several of us unexpectedly saw an aurora display. There were no real colors in this - just a hazy white, with an occasional greenish tinge.

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