Subj: Manufactured Northern
Date: 8/12/00 3:44:17 AM Pacific Daylight Time
We went out at 3 a.m. to watch the meteor shower and my son excitedly
pointed out what he thought was a northern lights display. When we got
back home I checked the NOAA POES satelite site and it does look like
central Iowa is in a position to see them tonight.
However, I grew up in North Dakota and have seen many varieties of
northern light displays. The person who posted from Australia described
a pulse-burst through mist and we saw something very similar in that the
"northern lights" appeared as a fine white colored mist or cloud (we did
not see any red, yellow, etc.) and there was a very definite pulse or
wave action to the light.
Instead of the usual dancing curtains or filaments of lights, we saw a
beam of light due north and another beam of light almost due west. Then
the misty cloud that was low on the northern horizon began to pulse and
expand upward into the sky and into the space between the two beams.
We could see waves of light flow up, uniform waves parallel to the
horizon . The waves had a regular interval between them, maybe one to
two seconds. We could watch a wave of light start at the horizon and
follow each individual wave as it flowed upward. Occassionally there
seemed to be strong bursts of light that flashed "behind" the more
regular waves of light.
For the grand finale, the end beams became more diffuse, additional
vertical streams of white light mist/ cloud could also be seen coming
out of the hoizontal waves of light. All of this light had been
appearing from the horizon up to about a 45 degree angle. But now it
was growing..my son said it looked like the light was being "pumped up
higher." The beams grew until they met overhead forming a canopy!
This occurred the strongest between 4:00 - 4:30 am central time and then
there was atleast one more build-up, this one not quite making it to the
center of the sky.
Granted, northern lights may appear different when viewed from the lower
midwest, but these bore very little resemblance to any northern lights I
have ever seen!
As always, we're very grateful that you have created Orbit so that
regular citizens can check in on what the heavens going on!