Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, March 06, 2005

More on the Aurora

So, it's nearly midnight last night. The Mrs. is feeling tired, ill, etc., and we're getting ready to go to bed. I go to the window on the northern side of the house, all the lights off. I look up and see the northern lights in the sky. Fantastic! They're a diffuse glow, but I can see them ebb and flow and dance across the sky. A sharp spike in the aurora, moves quickly, painting the sky. I remind myself that this is good, since the atmosphere is doing its job and catching the high-energy radiation that the Sun is kicking out and turning it into a lovely light show. All the components of good exist: removal of the element of mortal danger plus entertainment. Kind of like a bullfight without a matador, but I guess that would translate to just watching cattle wander about a ring. I'll have to work on a better analogy.

Anyway, The Mrs. comes and checks out the aurora. She stumbles over a chair in the dark on the way to the window, and then she finally gets to a chair and sits down by the window. We see the aurora spread and move from east to west, from the horizon to as far up as we could see, given the overhang of the house. Slowly. Beautiful, but she misses the sharp spike dancing and whipping in the atmosphere above. It was the difference between a laser light show and a lava lamp.

The aurora is a pale green, a green that Stephen King would say, "suffused an alien device." And not the good "give mankind presents and Pez" kind, but the bad, "we're going to eat your brains and take the planet" kind. I've heard the local folks talk about reds and oranges, but we could see none of those colors. Regardless, she suggests that we take a picture. I go get the digital camera, and discover it is possible to take two different types of picture from inside of the aurora at night: one where the flash brightens up the window, essentially turning it into a great reflective mirror, and one where you put your finger over the flash, and the camera takes a completely dark picture. Pictures of the aurora (not the one I saw, but generic) can be seen here.

Well, The Mrs. goes back to bed, and almost as soon as she leaves the room, I saw the spike moving rapidly across the sky, my laser light show was back. I guess, for now, I'm the one who is cursed to see it, much like the guy on the old Looney Tunes who finds the frog (I think it was Michigan J. Frog) who would sing (Hello my baby, hello my darling, hello my ragtime gaaaaal . . .) but only when other people weren't around.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More on the Aurora

Where's the other rest? Did I miss it? I feel cheated.

8:51 PM  

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