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Friday, March 9, 2012

The trouble with auroras

Several years ago, I spent three weeks in Anchorage, from mid February to early March.  The night before I flew in, there was a spectacular display.  The night after I flew out, there was another.  While I was there, not one single auroral event.  I've always consoled myself by tellng myself it was just Alaska's way of telling me I had to come back.  I'll make it one day, mid-winter, in time to see both the aurora and the Iditorod--which, btw, took place the day after I left.  Sigh.  It was a business trip and I really had little control over the timing.

Now I live in midcoast Maine, and for the life of me, it's always either cloudy or full moon when the aurora comes this far south.  I received an aurora alert yesterday telling of a CME (coronal mass ejection) that would guarantee aurora sightings even farther south than Maine.  No fair! It's happened again, and this time it's both cloudy and a full moon!

However, I'm ever hopeful, and full moon or not, cloudy or not, I will arise early and hope I can see something in the sky.  It's been a long drought.  I love seeing the aurora, and the weather and moon are bound to cooperate eventually.  The eleven year solar cycle should be at its peak, though it seems to be rather late this time around.  At any rate, the future looks promising for seeing the aurora this year.

Oh...and just as an aside to the "climate changes are caused by mankind" crowd, do take time to look at this link.  There's correlation between auroral activity and climate changes, since at least 1640.  This scientific paper, of course, is only one of many which obviates the spurious "consensus" argument promulgated by Al Gore, corporatist extraordinaire, but of special interest to me since it concerns the aurora.


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  2. Thank you, Suporna. I really ought to check for comments more often.


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