"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]
posted by dhruva
on Aug 21, 2013 -
"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."
posted by showbiz_liz
on May 2, 2013 -
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]
posted by Upton O'Good
on Oct 21, 2012 -
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.
posted by Toekneesan
on May 3, 2012 -
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]
posted by ZeusHumms
on Apr 11, 2011 -
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.
posted by spock
on Sep 11, 2010 -
(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?
posted by planetkyoto
on Mar 30, 2005 -
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.
posted by PrinceValium
on Nov 9, 2004 -
run by 21 Troy Birdsall of Fairbanks, Alaska. Gorgeous video and photographs of the Northern Lights.
posted by Feisty
on Mar 8, 2004 -
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.
posted by y2karl
on Oct 24, 2003 -
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
posted by MiguelCardoso
on May 1, 2003 -
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!
posted by Sal Amander
on Nov 24, 2001 -
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.
posted by clockwork
on Mar 30, 2001 -
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.
posted by webmutant
on Sep 23, 2000 -
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.
posted by tiaka
on Jul 13, 2000 -