[AZ-Observing] Re: Aurorae underway

  • From: Stan Gorodenski <stan_gorodenski@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 18:34:43 -0800

How nice to be there. I have been wanting to take a trip to Alaska, 
maybe next year, but to drive up with the gas prices the way they are 
now would be pretty expensive. I had been wondering about Jeff Medkeff 
who I don't know, except talk to him on the phone once. I'm surprised he 
went to Alaska for astronomy. One x-astronomer, professional, who lives 
in Fairbanks left astronomy to go into the study of lepidoptera. He 
doesn't consider himself an astronomer any more. Make sure Jeff doesn't 
start looking at Alaskan butterflies or he too might start swinging a 
net instead of peering through a telescope.

Tom Polakis wrote:

>Jenn and I are in Alaska through the end of this week.  While a trip up toward 
>Fairbanks means an 80% chance of seeing the aurorae, we opted for the southern 
>leg of our trip to the Kenai Peninsula for the past four days -- two in Seward 
>and two in beautiful Homer.  The first night in Homer (Saturday) began partly 
>cloudy, and miraculously cleared by 11 p.m.
>We were treated to an all-sky display with the southern edge of the lights 
>about 10 degrees above the southern horizon.  What was the most striking was 
>how rapidly the pulsations moved from the horizon to the magnetic zenith (just 
>south of the zenith).  At the peak of the all-night display, these took only a 
>couple tenths of a second.  Also very striking was the convergence of the rays 
>of the curtain.  It's an illusion much like crepuscular rays.  The most 
>prominent color was the usual lime green, but the fringes were magenta, which 
>Jenn's eyes saw much better than mine.
>Jeff Medkeff, at whose house we are again staying, said this was among the 
>best half dozen displays he has seen in his 18 months near Anchorage.

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