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The Northern Lights Options
Daemon
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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The Northern Lights

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are a luminous display of various forms and colors in the night sky of the Northern Hemisphere. They are caused by high-speed electrons and protons from the Sun, which are trapped in the radiation belt above Earth and channeled toward the polar regions by Earth's magnetic field. These electrically charged particles enter the atmosphere and collide with air molecules, exciting them to luminosity. Who coined the name "aurora borealis" for this phenomenon? More...
L.Rai
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:27:00 AM

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The answer to today's question is:

In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621.
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 1:44:47 AM

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This is odd: (Copy/pasted from the article)
Quote:
An aurora was also detected on Mars, on 14 August 2004, by the SPICAM instrument aboard Mars Express. The aurora was located at Terra Cimmeria, in the region of 177° East, 52° South. The total size of the emission region was about 30 km across, and possibly about 8 km high. By analyzing a map of crustal magnetic anomalies compiled with data from Mars Global Surveyor, scientists observed that the region of the emissions corresponded to an area where the strongest magnetic field is localized. This correlation indicates that the origin of the light emission was a flux of electrons moving along the crust magnetic lines and exciting the upper atmosphere of Mars.[46][47]

I thought Mars didn't have a magnetic field?
L.Rai
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 2:08:32 AM

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NHF:

The only thing I know is that women are from Venus and men are from Mars...at least that's what I was told.d'oh!
monamagda
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:02:34 PM

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The aurora is both beautiful and slightly uncanny in appearance, and has accordingly spawned myriad legends and myths.

The oldest descriptions of the aurora are from the Mediterranean countries and from ancient China. At most, people in these temperate regions would have seen the aurora only once or twice in their lives.

In the 6th century BC, Ezekiel, a prophet-priest of ancient Israel, saw the aurora and wrote that "…a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire." (Ezekiel 1:4). In 344 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle observed the aurora and compared its light with flames from known sources on Earth. The Romans called them "chasmata," the mouths of celestial caves. Today, different locations that share the same auroral frequency are known as isochasms.

In Norse mythology, a bridge named Bifrost connected Earth and Åsgard, the home of gods. It most likely was modeled after rainbows or the Northern Lights, and was guarded by the god Heimdal. Scandinavian popular belief linked the aurora to dead women, especially to dead virgins. The Finnish name "revontulet" referred to the mythical firefoxes of Lapland, brushing up sparks with their tails. Some attributed the aurora to reflections from the shields of the Valkyries, warlike women chosen by Odin to guide fallen warriors to Valhalla. Others believed their glow came from the beautiful Viking goddess Freja, riding horseback.

http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/4C.html
early_apex
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:09:33 PM
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NeuroticHellFem wrote:
This is odd: (Copy/pasted from the article)
Quote:
An aurora was also detected on Mars, on 14 August 2004, by the SPICAM instrument aboard Mars Express. The aurora was located at Terra Cimmeria, in the region of 177° East, 52° South. The total size of the emission region was about 30 km across, and possibly about 8 km high. By analyzing a map of crustal magnetic anomalies compiled with data from Mars Global Surveyor, scientists observed that the region of the emissions corresponded to an area where the strongest magnetic field is localized. This correlation indicates that the origin of the light emission was a flux of electrons moving along the crust magnetic lines and exciting the upper atmosphere of Mars.[46][47]

I thought Mars didn't have a magnetic field?


NHF: That's what I thought, too.
early_apex
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:15:21 PM
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Magnetic fields on Mars.

OK, there are magnetic fields, but nothing like earth's.
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 3:57:04 PM

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Having growing up in northern Minnesota, viewing the "Northern-Lights" was a winter pastime for many of us. After leaving home, c. 1957, I was amazed just how many people were unfamiliar with the, "aurora borealis"... This spectacular event is probably the most significant event that I miss by not still living up near the Canadian border. But then just the other day the nighttime temperature was -2 degrees; so I shall just keep my memories within my "minds-eye"...
striker
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 4:15:15 PM
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a amazing sight to see
excaelis
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 7:42:10 PM

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Fredric-frank Myers wrote:
Having growing up in northern Minnesota, viewing the "Northern-Lights" was a winter pastime for many of us. After leaving home, c. 1957, I was amazed just how many people were unfamiliar with the, "aurora borealis"... This spectacular event is probably the most significant event that I miss by not still living up near the Canadian border. But then just the other day the nighttime temperature was -2 degrees; so I shall just keep my memories within my "minds-eye"...



I think you were significantly north of us in Southern Ontario. I've only seen the green shimmery curtain here.
Absurdicuss
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 8:57:25 PM
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Imagine what the ancients thought about the lights, being that they were but ignorant primitive savages compared to....say...an American teenager of today who can simultaneously text chew gum and drive.
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2014 9:02:19 AM

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early_apex wrote:
Magnetic fields on Mars.

OK, there are magnetic fields, but nothing like earth's.


Thanks apex. That's weird, but I (kind of) get it.
L.Rai
Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2014 8:34:41 PM

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Supposedly you can go the most northern city in China, Mohe and view the lights. However no one is sure if you do this in summer or winter. Summer would be better because the average temperature in Mohe in June is around 50 (F) but in winter it can be (-40 F) or colder. BTW Mohe is a nice place in summer, it's sort of like Alaska.
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