Saturday, September 17, 2005

Boot Cut, Bell Bottom, or Flare?


Last night, for the first time in my life, I saw an Aurora. And I am not talking about the car made by Oldsmobile.

At first, I figured it was glare or halos from the megawatt security lighting but as we drove though one of the darker areas of the neighborhood, I thought perhaps it was unusual and rare lenticulular clouds, illuminated by the full moon.

The phenonmenon looked like spindles (my first association) but also coccoons, or ghosts or angels, hovering in the sky.

I'm not currently able to find any pictures of it, but it was really cool. I have a lame drawing that can't even begin to capture how mysterious, suprising and lovely the aurora was. The sketch is good for a laugh, though.

Perhaps the aurora resulted from residual activity from the huge solar flare (an X17 class) that happened last week (September 7, 05). This flare disrupted a lot of electronic communications and was the fourth most powerful one recorded since the time records have been kept. Reports are that aurora phenomena, which are generally limited to the northern climes, were occuring in the deep south, in places like Texas and Arizona.

Or perhaps it was just a random occurrence and I was in the right place at the right time.

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