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Post by -=CROMAN=- on Oct 24, 2011 20:04:19 GMT -6
I finally saw my first Aurora! I looked up at Cass around 8:30pm and saw a red band of light about 30 degrees in width going northwest! At first I thought it was glare from some halloween display. A check of spaceweather.com verified that it was indeed caused by an CME!
I called Joe to let him know and various others in my excitement. Unfortunately it is now dissipating as I write this. Scratch one more from the bucket list!
This is exactly what it looked like over the house
AURORAS IN THE USA--NOW! Northern Lights have spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous USA. Observers report auroras as far south as Ohio: image. The display was caused by the CME impact described below.
CME IMPACT: A CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 24th at approximately 1800 UT (02:00 pm EDT). Acording to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the impact caused a strong compression of Earth's magnetic field, allowing solar wind to penetrate all the way down to geosynchronous orbit for a brief period between 19:06 UT and 19:11 UT. Earth-orbiting spacecraft could have been directly exposed to solar wind plasma during that time.
Last Edit: Oct 24, 2011 20:09:07 GMT -6 by -=CROMAN=-
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 24, 2011 20:24:02 GMT -6
I'm not home now, but C.A. Rich called me up to tell me about this. Maria and I scurried up to her roof to take a look.
Of course, the orange glow of Chicago skies blotted out this event....but I did notice a wash of color running across Cassie from the northwest. I didn't have my S3 camera, but tried to take a shot with an inferior one....Don't think I caught anything...but we will see.
A twitter alert has been sent out to all Chicago Astronomer Twitter follows.
Very cool Rich!!
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 25, 2011 6:17:05 GMT -6
Alright, this is all I got.....
After C.A. Rich's notification, I was up on Maria's roof, (just six blocks from my estates in the Heart of Chicago/Pilsen area), to see if I could catch this rare event...this far south. I did notice a subtle light wash of weak hued crimson across Cassiopeia, like Rich described to me, but nothing that was dramatic or undulating.
I had a simple pocket Polaroid digital camera with me and attempted to take a shot. Setting it for it's maximum ISO of 1600 and on timer, I laid it on the roof and took some shots - straight up - and hoping the field of view would catch something. I did get a slight reddish hue on the top left of the frame...more than I could see naked eye. The Orange glow of our supernova light pollution was just too overwhelming.
Unfortunately, I did not have my mighty Canon Powershot S3...as I'm sure I could have captured much more.
But...this was cool.
(Side note: I did discover that Maria's roof will make a good open sky site for private observations with a smaller scope, (C5 etc...)...and will catch the Leonids coming up in November from there...sleeping bag and hot chocolate... )
Ugh, I can't believe I missed this! I looked outside last night 2 or 3 times just to see how clear the skies were as I was thinking of doing some Jupiter viewing, but I was always looking due East. That's it, I'm off to the North pole.
I checked several times last night and saw nothing. Was out photographing Jupiter & Lyra around 8pm and nada. Later, the lights were so bad, I could barely make out Cass., so no aurora. Next time, I'm just getting in the car and driving north!! Bong Recreation Area.
Post by -=CROMAN=- on Oct 25, 2011 17:12:07 GMT -6
I could probably put a PHP script together that would send out a mass sms to those that "Opt In". then you would simply go to one of our websites, log in, fill out the text field and hit send. pretty easy actually.
I could possibly make a web based android/iphone app to could do the job as well. I have been wanted to try something like that for a while now
Last Edit: Oct 25, 2011 17:13:30 GMT -6 by -=CROMAN=-
Wouldn't it just be simpler to set up a subscription email group list? I'd be happy to host on our server, and then if people want to they can subscribe with their SMS email address (773368XXXX@sms.txt.net). You would be able to subscribe with both email and SMS if you wanted messages to both. This is simple and I can set up in about 10 mins, no scripting or coding necessary. Not that an app wouldn't be cool, but this seems the shortest distance between the two points.
Our Dreamhost server has it built in. Just create new, name it, and voila. Would be an Opt-In list where all users have control of their own membership as well as message frequency.
Can also do an announce only list, but if the goal is for anybody to be able to declare an astroemergency, this seems the path. To route messages to cell #, one would just sign up with their SMS email per above.
Last Edit: Oct 25, 2011 23:28:52 GMT -6 by patrickm