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 Aurora Borealis 
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Post Aurora Borealis


From The Times, Feb 5, 1785:

" .... there was one of the most remarkable Aurora Borealis's on Monday night that has been many years. It began in the E. and went round to the N.W. with an arch of great magnitude. The lights were so strong and vivid, that at twelve o'clock they reflected a shadow stronger than that of the moon...."

I found that interesting as I wondered if they was seen in London? I didn't think they were visible from southern Britain. I can't say that I've ever seen them and I'm nearly a 100 miles north of London. As much as I understand, they are rare even in the north.

Have any of the Brits on the forum seen the phenomenon from our shores? Or for that matter, has any member of the forum seen them from anywhere?


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Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:42 am
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Yes, I've seen them from a few places in Canada. Once in Yellowknife in the North West Territories, which is just below 60 degrees north, once at Lake Louise in Alberta, which would be around 50 degrees, and once in the Haliburton area of Ontario, which would be south of the UK (it is about 250 km north east of Toronto, which is 44 degrees). In all 3 cases, the places don't have much light pollution. They really aren't that rare on clear winter nights, but only well away from heavily populated areas (and we have a lot places well away from heavily populated areas). They are a spectacular sight. My cousins who own the cottage in Haliburton say they have seen them actually 'snapping' in the sky on very cold, clear nights........2 of the times I saw them, they were a green shimmer and once, almost white, like clouds which would disappear suddenly, then re-appear. That occassion, I was skating on Lake Louise and almost fell over, because I was so busy looking up.....

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Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:46 pm
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LizMc wrote:
Yes, I've seen them from a few places in Canada. ....... They are a spectacular sight. My cousins who own the cottage in Haliburton say they have seen them actually 'snapping' in the sky on very cold, clear nights........2 of the times I saw them, they were a green shimmer and once, almost white, like clouds which would disappear suddenly, then re-appear. That occassion, I was skating on Lake Louise and almost fell over, because I was so busy looking up.....



.....thanks, Liz; how interesting.... it's nice to hear of your personal sightings.

Btw, pretty place, Lake Louise...I was there several years ago on a quick whizz around the Rockies, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Quick trip, but with many memories....

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Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:45 am
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I've seen the aurora on occasion in western NY state. For the most part, it's just a few thin white veils rippling across the night sky without color or sound. There was one large display on a summer's evening, half a lifetime ago, as memorable as it was unique.
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Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:47 pm
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I think the further north you get, the more colourful (and noisy) the display seems to be......I've never heard them make noise.

As for Lake Louise, it is absolutely magical to skate on the lake on a cold clear night, with snow all around (so the Victoria Glacier looks white, instead of a flowing gravel mound). When I went on this particular occasion, I was on a business trip to Calgary and took a bus up on Friday night for the weekend. The Chateau Lake Louise is within walking distance of the village, but I was encouraged to take a cab to the hotel as various locals had spotted members of the resident wolf pack along the road.....quite the experience, that trip.....

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Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:40 pm
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This is on my list of things I want to see/experience!

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Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:05 pm
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I've always liked this painting by Frederick Edwin Church: Aurora Borealis

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Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:25 pm
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susan wrote:
I've always liked this painting by Frederick Edwin Church: Aurora Borealis




....what a splendid picture, complete with ship; thanks for sharing....


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Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:38 am
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I lived in Norway for three years and saw the Nordlys (Northern Lights) on several occasions, usually on a cold winter's night. They were like shimmering curtains of light hanging in the sky, occasionally tinged with red and blue. It is more than thirty years since I saw them, but the memory is still clear and unforgotten.


Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:09 pm
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If I may, let me say something about this issue of the Aurora Borealis. Twenty years ago, one of those events occurred. So extraordinary even seen here in northern Spain, maybe some other western European remembers that. Certainly not happened with the wonderful intensity of that beautiful painting, but if that is appreciated the atmospheric phenomenon, and we are many miles south of London.

I hope not to have bothered with my roughness of novice and my english childlike.

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Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:09 pm
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From The Times, December 17, 1800:

".... The phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis was seen in the night of Sunday last, beautifully illuminating the Northern part of the hemisphere, through a large space, and rising in columns to the height of about 30 degrees. The wind was then at North, but shifted on Wednesday morning to the opposite direction. This circumstance justifies an old remark, that the Northern Lights are followed, within a few days, by a South wind. ....."



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Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:27 am
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.... from the online Telegraph .....


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Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:41 am
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