Saturday 11 May 2024

Aurora Alert!

PS Updated most recently on Friday May 17, 2024 

Unfortunately, I do not have my own photo of the sunspot group that caused this aurora but it probably looked similar to the one I photographed in March, link in a new page.

 There is an interesting article in Sky&Telescope comparing the sensitivity of the eye with a cell phone.

 The blue text is "clickable" to outside web pages for more details.

 Took nearly 200 photos tonight/Friday May 10 and now on Sat in the wee hours here is one.

Pleasant dreams  - dream of Olwen?

Dare I walk onto the balcony?

 That is twilight - dawn from Rama above the reflections in the Lake. The aurora has changed to a reddish glow - the 6300 A forbidden line oxygen about 800Km above the Earth,  It was present earlier but not as dominant as the green emission, also from oxygen at the more modest altitude of some 200km - below the orbit of the ISS.

 I made a video of stills looking due North - Polaris is just below and left of the black (drain) pipe.

 Here is a finder chart to help:

 Let me see if it works here:

The Big Dipper's "handle" is just to the right of the jut from the building 3/4 up the left side of the building. It is only 8 frames of 2 seconds exposure approximately every 15 sec, Hope it is not too big.

I suspect that the Sun shining on the atmosphere at 200km heated it up so that emission was mostly quenched. The emission at 800km is a forbidden one that usually can decay via collisions. However, at 800km the collisions occur every few minutes and so are not so strongly affected by the input of solar energy,

(Auroral excitation of the forbidden lines of atomic oxygen )

 And from the outside looking down;

 Notice the light pollution, too.

Also there were clouds that I found "pretty":

I noticed this morning that others were also making comparisons to the aurora of Oct 2003.

I too observed it - the red glow was very conspicuous. Initially Vicki feared the oil refinery in Wesseling might have "gone up". 

The photo was taken on film and then digitized, (Kuchenheim NRW Germany)


PS Additions to the blog made up to Thursday May 16

Sunday 28 April 2024

Yesterday - actually some 70 years ago ...

 There was a genre of jokes I seem to recall - I don't mean the "knock-knock" ones, but rather the kind that went "That's as funny as ..." Do you recall any of them?

I can only recall one

... that's as funny as an ant on a match stick on a moat

calling out

raise the draw bridge

The ants were traumatized - it seems that all their uncles were also ants.


Friday 26 April 2024

Thursday 25 April 2024

Yesterday was Winter

 Yesterday was dead trees reflecting on:

Wind storms

Upturned trees

But somehow the Sun shines through

and crowns the trees

in sunlight

And a new day and season has begun - WOB

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Scouting ahead

 The weather was very warm for being in a forest at 300m in April. There were quite a few "signs" of Spring:

The red question mark with the short line through it requires discussion.

Then there were signs of "man", too:

And I thought very little undergrowth this Spring - my imagination?


Tuesday 9 April 2024

That was the Eclipse that was (Monday April 8, 2024)

 That was the eclipse that was, the bringer together eclipse:


 that brought the astronomers, the birders, and the composers and conductors together. Thanks, MH, for the action shot of the group.

Friends ( who are always together, helping others who naturally are friends, too, even when 1000s of Km and a dozen time zones apart.)

The Ad-mins, UC-min, "real", teachers,  lawyer;
The ushers, the popcorn makers and the TV guides to NASA's live streaming,
the countless helpers who did uncountable good deeds,

those who stood and waited, 

 the new traditional story tellers with cell phones and emails to share their experience

And the old:
Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon, and Mother Earth
According to the teachings of the Anishinabe culture of central North America,
the first of all the mothers, Nokomis or Grandmother Moon, dwells in the heavens
near her daughter, Mother Earth. From there, Nokomis keeps watch over her children,
gently leading them through the night. Mother Earth nourishes and cares for all her
children in the plant, animal, and human worlds. Just as life comes from Mother Earth,
it returns to her, completing the circle of life. Each day, Grandfather Sun, the
"one who brings morning", gives light and warmth to his children. Together,
Mother Earth and Grandfather Sun provide the gift of life to all.
The heartbeat of Mother Earth is echoed in the drumbeat of the Anishinabe.
Even Wolf, who sings to the Moon, bids us not to forget our beginnings with Nokomis,
our Grandmother.

 When I visited Capilano in June 1999, I was told that it was the Raven who tried to eat the Sun, burnt his beak and scorched his feathers black until he spat out the Sun and let it be free.

The cleaner-uppers

and near the Zenith, the Syzygy - for you scrabble lovers, I think the word is nearly impossible?
You need some blanks?

The sky filled in the blanks with Clouds here - I learned that little Grimsby was spared? They saw totality who were present. Sadly, out out brief candle -

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.