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September 1999, Week 3

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Subject:
From:
Scott Mortimer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 15 Sep 1999 09:48:52 -0500
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     As somewhat of an amateur astronomer, I can provide some information
     on the Northern Lights.  They are caused by solar turbulence hitting
     the earth's atmosphere.  They do increase as you move north, with the
     best displays being at the Arctic Circle.  However, in the next couple
     of years we will be entering the maximum of the 11 year solar activity
     and sunspot cycle, meaning that the northern lights will also be
     peaking.

     This means that by looking to the north in northern Vermont the lights
     will be visible many nights in next few years.  However, I've also
     seen it many times from Massachusetts.  If you are in a location with
     minimal light pollution, looking to the north, the lights will be
     visible on many dark nights.  On some nights, it's hard to detect, it
     may look like light clouds on the horizon, but if you look carefully
     the shape or brightness will change slowly over time.

     Be careful out there....

     Scott

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