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Ursa Astronomical Association

Aurora rays - 28.9.2020 at 21.18 - 29.9.2020 at 01.00 Kuopio, Nilsiä Observation number 94158

Visibility II / V

Minna Glad, Kuopion Saturnus

At 9:18 p.m., while I was just driving to the viewing area, the northern lights formed an explosion to dance. The rays climbed up to the zenith, almost trying to try the corona as well. The most spectacular show lasted until 9:24 p.m., but at least until another 9:47 p.m., there were single post-show rays in the northern sky. Then there was the calm, just a crazy arcuate ole in the north.

At 23 p.m., the arc rose promisingly, but over the next hour and a half there were only small brightenings or activations, as if the arc had been tinkering with something small all the time, but a decent downturn just didn’t happen. At 0.40 you almost lost, and I was already expecting a decent show to be about to start. But at about 0.45 I noticed that the fires flickered and throbbed even in zenith. At first the flames seemed to strike more randomly, but then more organizedly, so that the dim arcs passed from north to south about every second. I remember seeing the same thing in Inari ( This continued until at least 1 o'clock, but by that time I had to go home. Hopefully that timelapse will get some idea of the current of the arcs.

More similar observations
Additional information
  • Aurora brightness
    • Bright auroras
  • Colors with unaided eye and other features
    • Green auroras info

      Green, seen with the naked eye, is one the most common colors of the aurora. The green color is derived from atomic oxygen.

      Green auroras. Lea Rahtu-Korpela.

      Green auroras. Photo by Juha Ojanperä.

  • Observed aurora forms
    • Rays info

      The raysare parallel to the lines of force of the magnetic field, i.e. quite vertical, usually less than one degree thick light streaks. The rays can occur alone or in connection with other shapes, mainly with arcs and bands. Short rays are usually brightest at the bottom but dim quickly. The longest rays, even extending almost from the horizon to the zenith, are usually uniformly bright and quite calm, and unlike the shorter rays, most often occur in groups of a few rays or alone. Rays, like bands, are a very typical form of aurora.

      Artificial light pillars, which are a halo phenomenon visible in ice mist, can sometimes be very similar to the rays of aurora. Confusion is possible especially when the lamps that cause the artificial light pillars are far away and not visible behind buildings or the forest. The nature of the phenomenon is clear at least from the photographs.

      Rays. Picture of Tom Eklund.

      Rays. Photo by Mika Puurula.

      Two beams rise from the aurora veil. Photo by Anssi Mäntylä.

      Two radial bands. Show Jani Lauanne.

      Radial band and veil. Photo by Jussi Alanenpää.

      Two rays. Photo by Aki Taavitsainen.

      It may be possible to confuse such rays with artificial light columns. Compare the image below. Picture of Tom Eklund.

      There is no aurora in this image, but all the light poles - including the wide and diffuse bar seen at the top left - are artificial light pillars born of ice mist. Photo by Sami Jumppanen.

      Aurora and artificial light pillars. All the radial shapes in the picture above are probably artificial light pillars that coincide appropriately with the aurora band. In the image below, the aurora band has shifted and does not overlap with the pillars produced by the orange bulbs. There is no orange in auroras. Photo by Katariina Roiha

    • Band info

      Bands are usually narrower, more twisty at the bottom, brighter, and more active than arches. Bands usually develop from arches.

      Bands can form J and U shapes, sometimes even full spirals. The corona can also arise from bands. Bands are a fairly common form of aurora.

      Aurora band. Photo by Merja Ruotsalainen.

      Aurora band. Photo by Matias Takala.

      Aurora band. Photo by Lea Rahtu-Korpela.

      Aurora bands. Photo by Lauri Koivuluoma.

      Aurora band. Photo by Matias Takala.

Comments: 2 pcs
Pirjo Koski - 9.10.2020 at 19.18 Report this

Nättiä! Ykköskuva on suosikki! 

Minna Glad - 10.10.2020 at 13.09 Report this

Kiitos, joo se oli näyttävin vaihe joskin lyhyt - yleensä pyrin laittamaan kuvat aikajärjestykseen, että näytelmän vaiheita olisi helpompi tarkastella, mutta pitää myöntää että ykköskuvaksi tulee usein laitettua se hienoimman näköinen ruutu! Onneksi kuvanottoajat voi halutessaan etsiä tuolta kuvien tiedoista.

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