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September 1999, Week 3

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Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
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Wed, 15 Sep 1999 08:00:44 -0700
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Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
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When I was an undergrad at SUNY Oswego in the early '60s, we saw brilliant
displays of the Northern Lights each September for two years in a row.  The
sky show continued for about a week each year in mid-September.  Our view
was enhanced by the campus' location on the shore of Lake Ontario with no
intrusion of city lights.  The curious thing about the displays we saw at
that time was that the lights did not appear as swirling, billowing
curtains.  Instead, the lights appeared as narrow fluorescent green shafts
of light stretching from the horizon upward to the zenith.  The shafts were
lined up from west to east and created a pattern that looked like a set of
pipes in a church organ.  Each beam pulsated (growing longer or shrinking),
similar to the way a group of digital meters on an audio mixer pulsate as
the music plays.  Every night during the displays, the parking lot and
grounds at the old fort in Oswego filled up with carsloads of students from
the campus.  (The event made for a better explanation to the local cops
than "We're here to watch the submarine races.")  I've never seen them
again.
Cookie Melrose

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