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September 1999, Week 3


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"Ron Najman, aka Ronski" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 15 Sep 1999 11:57:04 -0500
text/plain (48 lines)
     My two cents on the northern lights:

     While at college in Vermont I saw them quite a few
     times. Sometimes they were quite faint, and most of the
     time they were the usual "curtain" pattern, but I recall
     two very unusual displays.

     One consisted of large puffs of white light, sort of
     like pillows, blinking on and off all over the sky for

     The other was truly spectacular. It began as a finger
     of white light directly above in the center of the sky,
     which began winding around like a band of rain in
     satellite photo of a hurricane. It kept growing and
     adding colors until it developed into concentric rings
     of many hues. It was like looking up into a many-tiered
     wedding cake made of colored lights. And it lasted for
     two hours.

     I saw this develop as I was carrying some fresnel
     lights from Wright Theater on the Midd. campus to a gym
     where we were building a theater-in-the-round set (I
     was the theater tech director at the time). I told the
     crew, "The light show we're setting up here can't
     compare with the one outside." Everyone went outside
     and stood in awe of it.

     While the aurora cannot be predicted with any great
     accuracy, NASA's website
     will sometimes run stories of an increased likelihood
     of northern lights due to unusual solar activity.

     I once saw what looked like a very faint display in
     Westchester Co., New York, one winter's night (during a
     new, that is no, moon), but that is a very great rarity
     at that latitude.

     I now live farther north in SE NY state (Orange
     County), and still look for the northern lights (Watch
     the skies!), so far to no avail.

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