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Thread: Northern Lights

  1. #1
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Default Northern Lights

    I have seen the Northern Lights at Baxter, but never from the Trail.

    Anyone luckier than me?

    Here is a screen shot of a tweet from Mount Washington Observatory.


    3C4ECA06-35DA-48EF-B316-982BDA908879.jpeg

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Now that's very cool and something I want to experience first hand. Oh that never ending bucket list.

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    What time of year was this? Or is that not a factor when a northern light show might occur?

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    What time of year was this? Or is that not a factor when a northern light show might occur?
    It's way more of a function of the sunspot cycle, which IIRC is about 11 years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle

    If you're at or near a maximum of sunspot activity, you have a great chance if you're far enough north and it's dark, of course. In the middle of the summer far north, it is not dark for long (or at all!).

    Here's my best from pretty darn far north; it was amazing to see.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Here's some more info from Wiki; it appears we're close to a minimum right now, but reaching a maximum in only a couple years:

    Solar Cycle 25 began in December 2019. Several predictions have been made for sunspot cycle 25based on different methods, ranging from very weak to moderate magnitude. A physics-based prediction relying on the data-driven solar dynamo and solar surface flux transport models by Bhowmik and Nandy (2018) seems to have predicted the strength of the solar polar field at the current minima correctly and forecasts a weak but not insignificant solar cycle 25 similar or slightly stronger in strength relative to cycle 24. Notably, they rule out the possibility of the Sun falling in to a Maunder-minimum-like (inactive) state over the next decade. A preliminary consensus by a Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel was made in early 2019. The Panel, which was organized by NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) and NASA, based on the published solar cycle 25 predictions, concluded that Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Solar Cycle 24. They anticipate that the Solar Cycle minimum before Cycle 25 will be long and deep, just as the minimum that preceded Cycle 24.

    ** They expect solar maximum to occur between 2023 and 2026 with a sunspot range of 95 to 130, given in terms of the revised sunspot number **

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    I've had two amazing northern lights experience:

    1) I was on a night dive (probably Feb or Mar) off the fore-reef at Discovery Bay Jamaica in 1988. There was a weird red glow on the northern horizon when we went down. On coming back up ~45 minutes or so later, the whole northern sky streaked with red. It was amazing and lasted about 15 or 20 minutes.

    2) Denali National Park, end of season (I think 1989), probably late Aug or early Sep, about 1AM, there was a bunch of yelling out the back of the bar and we headed out to see the most amazing display I've ever seen with dancing greens, golds, reds. It lasted about 45 minutes.

    Sadly, I've never been out hiking on a trail and seen the northern lights. I would love that. I do currently work on Northern Lights Blvd. in Anchorage AK, and I've seen northern lights out my kitchen window, which looks north. But, the lights I've seen from Anchorage haven't been all that impressive yet.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    What time of year was this? Or is that not a factor when a northern light show might occur?
    That was from a tweet that just came so I assume it was last night or this morning.

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I realize solar flares from the sun are the reason we get these light shows , I was just wandering if there is a time of year it happens more than others.

    I also didn't realize you could see them as far south as Jamaica.
    As far as the different colors , specific colors represent what dust particulars in the atmosphere at the time?

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I thought I seen them a couple times when I was a kid.
    But I think it was more experimenting the Timothy Leary theory.

  10. #10

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    Great photos, awesome sight to behold. Thank you for sharing!

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