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Post by Al Degutis on Sept 11, 2005 9:54:51 GMT -6
After getting home from a concert just after midnight local time (05:30 UT), I get out to the scope to see how the skies were in Woodstock, IL (42N 88W). The seeing wasn't the greatest (3/5) and I think the Moon was still setting but I couldn't see it through the perimeter trees. I pointed the telescope at Mars but the atmoshpheric turblance was high. I observed the Double Cluster, Pleiades and as Mars rose higher in the sky, went back to it.
Aware that there was the possibility of an auroral display in the northern states, I had the camera out and kept looking northward only the skyglow near the horizon was visible. While observing Mars the second time at 01:35 am local time (06:35 UT), I looked up at Cassiopeia and saw a big white cloud covering it. Realizing this was an auroral stream/ray I pointed the camera at it and snapped a 30 second exposure. At this point, it was already fading so the camera only caught a part of it before it faded.
I kept watching and snapping pictures. With my mostly dark adapted eyes, I was able to see faint rays that moved from the North thru and around Cassiopeia but they were so faint and brief that the camera didn't pick them up.
I alternated between obsering Mars and watching for more auroral display for the next 90 minutes. No more northern lights were seen.
A mid-latitide auroral alert has been issued and the chances for more activity from sunspot 808 is very stong. I'll be outside watching most nights this week.
Last Edit: Sept 11, 2005 9:57:50 GMT -6 by Al Degutis