Brilliant Sunday

SOUTHERN LIGHTS: When an interplanetary shock wave hit Earth’s magnetic field on April 19th, northern skies lit up with electric blue auroras. Southern skies lit up, too, but the palette was different. Peter Sayers sends this photo of red, yellow and green lights over Wilmot, Tasmania:

“Overlooking Wilmot and the iconic Mt Roland, we saw bright naked eye auroras lasting an hour or two,” says Sayers. “They were stunning. I used Lightroom to clean up some noise, but the color saturation in this image was not altered from the camera.”

Similar colors were observed in New Zealand, while Antarctic observers witnessed almost pure green.

What’s the difference? Northern Lights stimulated by the shock wave were dominated by ionized nitrogen molecules, which produce a blue glow at the upper limits of Earth’s atmosphere. Southern Lights, on the other hand, were dominated by oxygen. Oxygen atoms glow red and green when excited by incoming particles from space. Oxygen and nitrogen are abundant in both hemispheres–so why they dominated in different places is anyone’s guess. Consider it a beautiful mystery.


About Den

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

  1. Den says:

    Perhaps, like all things, there is a difference in polarity between poles supporting the view seen above. The Universe is a mixture of polarities all electrical in nature. Static electricity can be seen in lightning showing the opposite Ionosphere and Earth-ground sparks (lightning) jump when the humidity conditions are right to cause conduction through the air.


    • David B. Benson says:

      A solar breeze just excites the nitrogen; a proper solar wind also excites the oxygen; I have seen that in Far Northern Quebec.


  2. jim hitchcock says:

    Great, new phone also regularly giving me the Congratulations Google User browser hijacker popup (did it today when I turned on the phone and clicked into DWF comments. Malwarebytes did signal the manufacturer installed TouchPal keyboard, which can’t uninstalled but I did disable it and it’s disappeared from my app list. Was using Gboard anyway.

    This started when I first got the phone, before I installed anything, don’t know if exchanging the phone will help.


    • Den says:

      There is a Ghostery app for mobile, skip the Clicz I mentioned before. You can select who tracks and advertises , cuts all my ads on my laptop apparently making me the scourge of the internet with messages: “We see you are using an adblocker, yada yada,pls. contribute”. I claim the poverty defense.


  3. jim hitchcock says:

    Could use a find in page option in menu 😉


  4. David B. Benson says:

    On this Earth Day stick walked up to the TVD bridge and then back to the Old Post Office. Saw 3 ducks flying, then a ring-necked pheasant landing followed by a Mallard drake headed north, eventually 2 hawks circling in thermals looking for dinner, as well as miscellaneous smaller birds of various species. Completely clear; 65 minutes.


    • jim hitchcock says:

      On this Earth Day we celebrate a climate change denier as Trump’s appointment to head NASA.

      Donnie, you’re such a jokester.


      • Micki says:

        Our government is broken and no one in Congress seems to give a flip.

        This Bridenstine (sp?) climate denier has no formal b/g in engineering or science. Plus when he was executive director of the Air & Space Museum in Oklahoma the non-profit suffered financial losses; an investigation found he had used the nonprofits’ resources to benefit a company he co-owned. THAT IS BUSINESS AS USUAL IN OUR CURRENT GOVERNMENT.


    • David B. Benson says:

      Yellow sunset; 91 minutes to start the week.


  5. Den says:

    I empathize:


  6. Micki says:

    I don’t get ads on my iPhone.
    But, I do on my Mac laptop…it no longer surprises me, but within minutes of just taking a gander at something I *might* purchase, I get ads suggesting I “might like…”

    A week or so ago, I didn’t even look at any products but joked in an EMAIL with a friend that if he gave this other guy (who is kinda a thorn in his side) a ride in his Maserati, maybe they’d be pals for life.

    Well, DAMN! I am now getting ads for Maseratis! Oy! First of all, like I could afford one?!?!?! And, even if I could, I certainly wouldn’t buy one!!!!


    • jim hitchcock says:

      Cookies are invasive as hell.

      Ghostery didn’t get rid of the WordPress ads on this site, but so far no Congratulation Google User browser hijacker popups (that will install malware). Using the Chrome powered browser they popped up 5 or 6 times on DWF today.


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