Thursday, April 08, 2004

I dragged the kids out into the street tonight, a block down where there was less street lamp light and a broader view of the sky, and we counted off the five visible planets. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Then we calculated how old they would be before they would be able to see this again. The idea of being mom's age is a bit scary it seems.
Next we carefully examined a long jet trail like cloud that moved and didn't seem to dissipate in the northeastern sky. Cloud? I could have sworn I saw it undulate just slightly. But I was probably just not seeing clearly.
Went home and looked up the news on SpaceWeather.Com web site, and it actually mentioned a solar flare that could trigger auroras tonight. I want to think we might have seen one, but we are pretty far south in Portland and I have yet to see any in the 20 years we've lived here.
I considered taking a trip to see the Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks last winter. It's so expensive though! And a crapshoot whether you'll get a storm that week, after planning the trip for months and spending so much to see it. One of those few goals I have before I die, to see the Aurora Borealis in person rather than pictures.

In the meantime, here are some nice ones.

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