Pink Sunday


SPOTLESS SUN SPARKS PINK AURORAS: On Feb. 23rd the sun was completely blank (no sunspots) and NOAA classified solar activity as “very low.” Nevertheless, this happened:

“Despite the blank sun, we witnessed a beautiful display of auroras,” reports photographer Andrei Andritcu from Tromso, Norway. In addition to the usual green, the lights contained a vivid splash of pink.

In auroras, pink is a sign of nitrogen. Ordinary green auroras are caused by energetic particles from space hitting oxygen atoms 100 km to 300 km above Earth’s surface. Pink appears when the energetic particles descend lower than usual, striking nitrogen molecules at the 100 km level and below.

Recent displays of pink and white auroras have coincided with spotless suns often enough to make observers wonder if there is a connection. E.g. perhaps solar wind emerging from the spotless sun is unusually penetrating. If so, we can expect to see more nitrogenous auroras in the years ahead. The sun is descending into a deep Solar Minimum, and the nadir (expected in 2019-2020) could be colored pink.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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19 Responses to Pink Sunday

  1. Den says:

    Rock and roll Sunday in New Guinea: M 7.5 – 89km SSW of Porgera, Papua New Guinea


  2. David B. Benson says:

    Nitrogen ionizes at a different frequency than oxygen as the different colors make clear. I suppose a spotless sun might emit more of those lower frequency photons.

    Fancy way to state that I don’t understand it.


  3. Micki says:

    DiFi must not be having a great Sunday…no matter what color it is!

    The California Democratic Party rebuked its senior senator early Sunday by declining to make an endorsement in the state’s U.S. Senate race.

    State Senate leader Kevin de León, a fellow Democrat mounting a progressive challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, won the support of 54 percent of the delegates at the party’s convention in San Diego over the weekend. Only 37 percent of the delegates backed the 25-year incumbent, who is seeking her fifth term in office.

    The backing of 60 percent of the delegates was needed to secure the party’s official endorsement.

    In a statement following the vote, de León hailed the result as “an astounding rejection of politics as usual,” one that signaled growing momentum for his campaign.

    “California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines,” de León said. “We all deserve a leader who will take our climate action to Washington, and will fight each and every day to protect our human and civil rights, our immigrant families and Dreamers, champion universal health care and create good paying middle class jobs.”


    • David B. Benson says:

      My sister’s old horses become pasture ornaments.


      • Micki says:

        Well, first a pasture ornament, then the glue factory….but I suppose, by now, commercial glue factories have gone the way of the do-do bird. Most everything is synthetic nowadays. Maybe animal glue is still used for bookbinding…but the Kindle and other devices probably put a dent in that, too.

        Whatever…DiFi should pass the torch. New blood or bust!


  4. David B. Benson says:

    It always takes longer department: entire sidewalk shoveled. 😐


    • §º¿º§ Carol says:

      I think we’re pretty much done seeing any snow here, but I also know how THAT goes. We’ve had snow in April. It just seems like winter is over.


    • Micki says:

      I saw my niece in Lake Stevens today…I was amazed at the amount of snow by Lake Samish and Smokey Point. I-5 was fine…but the amount of slush on some of the secondary roads was quite surprising since all of our snow disappeared overnight up here in B’ham!

      Currently 32.8º F


  5. David B. Benson says:

    College Hill Climb hasn’t been plowed so sloppy walking in the gusty breeze. So 26 minutes to the Old Post Office for Brazilian seafood stew again.


  6. §º¿º§ Carol says:

    I’d sure like to see the Aurora here again. Forty years, saw it twice. I don’t hang around outside all night so I’ve probably missed many for all I know.

    I think the one time I woke up because a cat wanted in, or wanted to go out and that’s how I saw it. It was spooky actually.


  7. §º¿º§ Carol says:

    Jill and I went out for Margaritas this afternoon. Mmmm. So tasty.


  8. Den says:

    Byron just ate 25 BIG MACs, shouldn’t someone get the paddles?


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