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Northern Lights Goes Nuts In Nebraska

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the purty-colors dept.

Space 51

ciMedia writes "By far the most amazing photo adventure of the northern lights. These lights lasted into early morning."

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51 comments

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I've always wanted to see them (1)

ike6116 (602143) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835477)

Some say we can get the Northern Lights as south as Massachusetts but I have yet to see it in my 20 year existance

Re:I've always wanted to see them (3, Informative)

dtolman (688781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835784)

Then you need to check spaceweather.com [spaceweather.com] !

I used to say the same thing - but I've now had at least two l chances in 1 year to see them on Long Island - many miles to the south of you. The last opportunity was only a week ago (same event that sparked this story).

Re:I've always wanted to see them (1)

prawnpie (735400) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844644)

I saw some from Boston about a year ago, faint, but visible.

Fairly Slashdot Resistant (4, Interesting)

LakeSolon (699033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835545)

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

Re:Fairly Slashdot Resistant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10835580)

that was the first thing that occured to me aswell, "will this site cope with /.ing?"

Re:Fairly Slashdot Resistant ... NOT (1)

kid_wonder (21480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836845)

so much for level3

Nice! (2, Interesting)

eingram (633624) | more than 9 years ago | (#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?

Re:Nice! (1)

eingram (633624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835615)

Actually, your entire site is full of great photos. :)

Re:Nice! (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835789)

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! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10836078)

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?

small island my .... (1)

Somegeek (624100) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836548)

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]

Re:small island my .... (3, Informative)

MrPeach (43671) | more than 9 years ago | (#10838162)

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:small island my .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10838337)

slightly larger than the state of California (but a lot less hospitable)

Clearly, you haven't been to California lately :o)

Re:Nice! (2, Interesting)

tommyboyprime (694285) | more than 9 years ago | (#10838783)

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.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10835610)

It's dark down there and I was sure someone was around after the splash in the water(likely a fish, but it was right infront of me and I'd never in my life seen a fish jump in the river).

Nassty hobbitses. Precioussss is mine!

Holy T&L (5, Funny)

AbsurdProverb (831079) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835617)

God must be running one of those new ATI cards.

Re:Holy T&L (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836651)

Nah...Nvidia. :)

I think he uses the 6800 UltraUltraUltraUltraUltra. PCIe.

Re:Holy T&L (1)

mintrepublic (821683) | more than 9 years ago | (#10838311)

...and the flamewar begins. ^_^

Re:Holy T&L (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10837089)


Do you suppose she uses Gimp?

Damn! (3, Interesting)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835638)

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.

Re:Damn! (1)

hustin (684493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835807)


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 (4, Interesting)

linuxwrangler (582055) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835679)

The auroras were spectacular from space ase well as today's photo [spaceweather.com] from spaceweather.com shows:

Re:As seen from space (1)

FFFish (7567) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836580)

Good god, look over at Newfoundland. Did anyone survive?!

Re:As seen from space (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836872)

I don't know what you're talking about, Newfoundland isn't even shown on the map.

Re:As seen from space (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839981)

Newfoundland isn't even shown on the map.

Wow. Newfoundland was wiped off the map by the northern lights. Amazing.

Re:As seen from space (1)

jerde (23294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839361)

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 (3, Insightful)

TheAxeMaster (762000) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (2, Informative)

dtolman (688781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835809)

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...

Re:I wonder (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#10837188)

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 field, we don't know why it flips, and we don't know what it will mean when it does happen.

Some interesting info [nasa.gov]

P.S. To the moderators; A post that starts with 'I wonder if' might be '+1 interesting', but is rarely '+1 informative'

I saw 'em! (1)

tommyServ0 (266153) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835796)

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.

Re:I saw 'em! (5, Informative)

andygodwin (674121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836045)

They're caused by high energy particles colliding with the upper atmosphere... check Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] if you want more info.

I miss the northern lights (5, Insightful)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835824)

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...

Re:I miss the northern lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839475)

I've heard that the glow coming from cherenkov radiation at Chernobyl was incredibly beautiful as well...

Do yourself a favour: See a nuclear meltdown, and then you will die :)

Re:I miss the northern lights (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10840340)

"I've had a good run..."

Might as well die doing something cool...

A bit farther south (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835839)

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 (5, Informative)

pbrammer (526214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835885)

This may be of interest to some: http://sec.noaa.gov/pmap/ [noaa.gov]

Contains forecasts and historical data plots.

Phil

Cool (1)

Vokbain (657712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835900)

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.

Cool! (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10835904)

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!

Re:Cool! (1)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836330)

These were done on a tripod with 50 second exposures to start, and most of the later ones at 25 seconds.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10836150)

Truely amaztonishing HQ pictures. I hope they don't turn out to have been gimped.

You won't see pictures like this in future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10836351)

God has been working with the digital imaging industry to implement aurora reproduction blocking. The red plasmas contain the patterns that prevent scanning.

Re:You won't see pictures like this in future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10837096)

Jesus. How long to think up that little gem?

Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10836465)

Go nuts. Not goes.

Re:Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10836547)

Yous don't know the deep mideast do you?

last night (1)

austad (22163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836660)

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.

Aurora pictures and radio reflections (3, Informative)

leighklotz (192300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10837244)

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.

How Not to Take Photos of the Northern Lights (2, Funny)

Creosote (33182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10837668)

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...

Re:How Not to Take Photos of the Northern Lights (0, Flamebait)

Kesha (5861) | more than 9 years ago | (#10839870)

You and your parents are real assholes. You could have told the poor woman that she is just wasting the film, instead of laughing at her ignorance. You suck.
Paul.

Re:How Not to Take Photos of the Northern Lights (1)

tantrum (261762) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851869)

heh... whenever I read something like this I start wondering if the poster ended up with a lot of pictures of a black sky.. :P

yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10839858)

You southerners are impressed by such wimpy auroras. If you ever get the chance, come by Fort McMurray, Alberta in December or January. It might be -50C, but you'll get a great show.

From California (1)

dsgrntlxmply (610492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850256)

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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