Newspaper Snippets from August 28 - September 2, 1859
This is a series of excerpts from newspapers describing the largest solar storm on record in essentially real time for the era. The Aurora Borealis it caused was visible in the Carribean, and it shorted out telegraph lines across Europe. [more inside]
In real time: the Northern Lights
over Tromsø, Norway, earlier this month. Also on Vimeo
Janus was nominated for three “Best Fanzine” Hugos in 1978, 1979 and 1980. Jeanne Gomoll was nominated for two “Best Fan Artist” Hugos in 1978 and 1980. Janus and Aurora were the most prominent feminist science fiction fanzines of their time. With the exception of Amanda Bankier’s fanzine, The Witch and the Chameleon, which ceased publication in 1976, Janus and Aurora were the ONLY fanzines with this focus.
The full archives of Janus & Aurora, the feminist science fiction fanzine
created by the people who went on to create Wiscon, the feminist sf convention.
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this photograph
from the International Space Station and tweeted "Words can't describe how it feels flying through an #aurora. I wouldn't even know where to begin...
" Not many can share his experience, but photographer Paul Williams captured an aurora while on a flight from London to New York
(stills on Flickr
). NASA's Science News has an article on Flying Through a Geomagnetic Storm
, with information on how auroras are formed, and a bit more on what it's like to fly through them, with an accompanying video
with a Santeria
"The planeterrella is inspired by experiments carried out at the turn of the last century by the Norwegian physicist, Kristian Birkeland
, who first described how the Northern Lights were caused by the solar wind’s interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field. In a series of experiments, Birkeland aimed a beam of electrons at a magnetized sphere (terrella) inside a glass vacuum chamber and succeeded in recreating the ethereal glow of the aurora
(video in french) at the sphere’s poles." [more inside]
"This is video
of an aurora australis taken at the geographic south pole! I'm not absolutely sure, but it might actually be the first true video of an aurora australis here, as opposed to a timelapse of longer exposures. Sorry about the swearing - if you were there seeing it you'd probably swear too."
The sun has been active, with a Coronal
on the 11th, which will reach Earth this evening
of the Aurora Borealis further south than is typical, potentially as far south as Boston
, for those of us on the East Coast. Check visibility
via fantabulous timewaster
, thanks. [more inside]
"Hopefully this also means that I finally can close the case on the auroras from March 17. Go here to be transported back to March 17
, to a small town in northern Sweden called Östersund. Welcome!" As mentioned on Space Weather.
On Dec 14th, Gene Rosen found six kids "sitting in a neat semicircle at the end of his driveway.
He ran upstairs and grabbed an armful of stuffed animals. He gave those to the children, along with some fruit juice, and sat with them as the two boys described seeing their teacher being shot."
Now he's getting phone calls and emails from Sandy Hook Truthers
who think that the shooting in Newtown was a government sponsored hoax. [more inside]
An advanced and well-orchestrated computer spy operation that targeted diplomats, governments and research institutions for at least five years has been uncovered by security researchers in Russia.
The highly targeted campaign, which focuses primarily on victims in Eastern Europe and Central Asia based on existing data, is still live, harvesting documents and data from computers, smartphones and removable storage devices, such as USB sticks, according to Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based antivirus firm that uncovered the campaign. Kaspersky has dubbed the operation “Red October.” [more inside]
is an 4X simulation game in which you start from a civilization barely on edge of the Space Age, and guide them to galactic domination---or possibly crushing, painful defeat at the hands of your equally-ambitious neighbors or grumpy elder civilizations. It is the labor of love of a single dedicated designer (Steve Walmsley), and its depth and attention to detail rival that of the perennial Mefi favorite Dwarf Fortress
. (Also much like Dwarf Fortress, the UI has a learning curve, being primarily based around what appears to be a series of spreadsheets.) The main game, and most recent patch, can downloaded from the Aurora forums here
respectively. [more inside]
A gas-masked perpetrator entered an Aurora, CO movie theater during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises
, threw a smoke bomb and began shooting
. Police in Aurora report that 14 are dead
, and up to 50 others are injured. The lone gunman is believed to be in police custody
. [more inside]
Boston telegraph operator, (to Portland telegraph operator): "Please cut off your battery entirely from the line for fifteen minutes."
Portland operator: "Will do so. It is now disconnected."
Boston: "Mine is disconnected, and we are working with the auroral current. How do you receive my writing?"
Portland: "Better than with our batteries on. Current comes and goes gradually."
Boston: "My current is very strong at times, and we can work better without the batteries, as the Aurora seems to neutralize and augment our batteries alternately, making current too strong at times for our relay magnets. Suppose we work without batteries while we are affected by this trouble."
Portland: "Very well. Shall I go ahead with business?"
Boston: "Yes. Go ahead." — Ars Technica covers the story of the Great Auroral Storm of 1859, and the awe it inspired.
is a short documentary about auroras by NASA, which uses high-definition images taken by International Space Station science officer Don Pettit of aurora from orbit. Pettit writes about the difficulties of taking photographs from orbit
and other subjects on his blog
Earth Faces 12% Chance of "Catastrophic Solar Megastorm" by 2020
The last gigantic solar storm, known as the Carrington Event, occurred more than 150 years ago and was the most powerful such event in recorded history. [more inside]
Photographer Nate Bolt, on a overnight San Francisco to Paris flight, set up a time lapse camera to record the journey (with permission), and found midflight that he was shooting an aurora borealis
. [more inside]
Time lapse video of an aurora borealis
, by Terje Sorgjerd.
may have been the big news, but there were numerous other data breaches in 2010. [more inside]
Katja's Aurora Page.
Katja Gottschewski, German expat somewhere in Norway, posts an immense amount of awesome aurora pictures on her blog-homepage. [more inside]
may just be the most peaceful, beautiful 5-1/2 minutes of your entire day: An audio slideshow look at some of the winning images, guided by one of the judges, of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich's 2010 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Interested in "giving it a go"? Here are some guides
to photographing different aspects of the night sky.
is a photographer based in Antarctica. In addition to his photography, he's shot some excellent time-lapse video of the Southern Lights
and a Day in the Life of Antarctica
A Planned Parenthood health center
opened its doors to patients [in October], two weeks later than planned
, after anti-abortion activists raised questions about how it received its building permits
. Planned Parenthood is claiming victory
, but :prolife/antiabortion: activitists are still smarting.
But is the Aurora clinic just about abortions
, or is it filling an unmet need
in one of the largest population centers in Illinois?
Illinois is ground zero
for :prolife/antiabortion: activism
Aurora (Northern/Southern Lights) are one of the most beautiful phenomena of nature. They are normally reserved for those who live nearer the polar latitudes. But occasionally, a massive solar X-Flare (animated) occurs when the "gun barrel" is pointed directly at earth. When that occurs, incredible aurora can be visible as far south as the the Arizona (N. Hemisphere) or as far north as New Zealand and Southern Australia (S. Hemisphere). (Another excellent gallery from May 1, 2005.) We have a good chance for such an event in coming days: Sunspot group 792 has a complicated magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful X-class solar flares. The chance of an Earth-directed explosion is increasing as the sun's rotation turns the active region more and more to face our planet. Stay tuned to spaceweather.com and monitor auroral activity or the latest solar events. See also: How to Find a Photograph Aurora.
(mostly pictures, slightly more info here
). One car, two men, three decades of rust. Guy buys truly hideous 1957 prototype car from junkyard, restores it to gleaming unsightliness. Conne_ticut?
Last night's aurora borealis was seen in, among other places, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana,
Nebraska, New York, Virginia,
Recent sightings are reported here,
and lots of charts and graphs that I don't understand are here
courtesy of the government.
run by 21 Troy Birdsall of Fairbanks, Alaska. Gorgeous video and photographs of the Northern Lights.
Forecasters at the NOAA Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo., observed two dynamic areas of the sun
, one of which has produced a coronal mass ejection
, or CME, Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. EDT that appears to be Earth-directed. The forecasters are predicting a strong geomagnetic storm, G-3 on the NOAA Space Weather Scales, that should reach Earth on Friday, October 24. Satellite and other spacecraft operations, power systems, high frequency communications, and navigation systems may experience disruptions over this two-week period. Auroras
visible in the lower 48 states are possible tonight and tomorrow.
Keyboards Are Not Like Nibs:
Fountain pens - or writing instruments in general - rule. Lately though, the main manufacturers have stooped to ballpoints, gels and other madnesses. Just as the stupid calligraphy
fad killed proper handwriting, the main fountain pen manufacturers have been their own hangmen. I love Pelikan
but my main hearbreak is Rotring
, whose rapidograph
0.10 and 0.18 and isograph
0.20 (this latter line now sadly reduced to college sets
) are my favourite scratching sticks. Are you holding a torch
for any of those legendary manufacturers (Parker
et caetera) who have gone down the drain
? What glides your writing hand? Is the pseudish, unpardonably expensive and increasingly naff Montblanc
the last pen manufacturer to uphold its own standards? When you do put pen to paper - if you still do at all - what's your
stubborn choice? Damn it, you must use something to log into your Moleskine
Ever wondered what the Aurora Borealis sounds like?
The northern (or southern) lights generate VLF radio waves as well as light. These sounds have been captured here as hundreds of free mp3 downloads, and they make amazing ambient soundtracks. Random clicks, whirrs, pops and whistles, direct from outer space. The site also features other "weather sounds" generated by lightning storms and such, and explains how you can get your hands on a VLF receiver to hear the sounds yourself
is a site dedicated to the Aurora Borealis- the science behind it, lights-spotting, forecasts
and historical interpretations
. If you live in North America and don't want to miss it, take advantage of the Aurora Alarm
, thanks to Mark Haun and his skywatching friends.
is predicting another aurora showing this weekend due to the sun erupting a coronal mass ejection toward earth on Nov. 22nd. Although I live in the far west Chicago suburbs, others around my area saw the wild aurora showings on October 28th and November 6th. I missed them both because I didn't know about these events (which is why I now subscribe to the SpaceWeather.com mailing list). Had I known, maybe I could have seen this
, or this
, or maybe this
, all from around the midwest! One thing's for sure, I'll be outside this weekend. The sky is very busy this fall!
Aurora Borealis... in Santa Fe, NM
i'm up late writing a paper and chanced to look out the window, only to see red gaseous-looking clouds in the sky... I know it seems absurd to see the northern lights in the southwest, but this map almost makes it appear possible, probably because of the altitude... if i see four horsemen though, i'm running like hell.
Child taken from parents over gender politics.
Born Zachary Lipsomb, this six year old child has insisted since the age of two that she's actually a girl named Aurora, and her parents have tried to support her on this -- but the state of Ohio is convinced she's sick and needs treatment.
Even though I've mentioned this, I should post a link.
Even though solar flares
are evil and will ultimatly bring down the human kind, they make for really cool night light shows
Sky watchers should be on the lookout for aurora during nighttime hours for the next two days. The bright gibbous moon will hamper visibility of faint Northern and Southern Lights, but bright aurora may be visible in spite of the lunar interference. Usually, the best time to see aurora borealis (or aurora australis) is near local midnight.