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susan smitten

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Saw the Northern Lights! [Mar. 17th, 2007|12:05 pm]
susan smitten
[Hearing |Phish ~ Farmhouse]

Last night, somewhere between Greenland and Norway, I visited the cockpit and saw crazy green Northern Lights all over the sky! Wild Mandelbrot cartoons dancing in mid-air, so bright and sharp and animated, and tall - those beams of light looked a couple of thousand feet high, to my eyes. It was the first time I'd seen anything like it!

After about ten minutes of staring awe-struck out of the pitch black cockpit, I skipped through the cabin looking for people who were awake, telling them all, "LOOK OUT THE LEFT SIDE! NORTHERN LIGHTS!" and turning off all the lights in the galleys to encourage people to look. They just moved their headphones and looked at me and went, "Northern lights? Hm, you don't say," and went back to watching The Devil Wears Prada or whatever. But I was excited about it.

I didn't take these pictures - I just picked ones from a Google image search that looked the most like what I saw. The spiraling shape will make you go insane!

From: ex_chose
2007-03-17 11:46 am (UTC)
I can't believe no one else was interested!!! people suck.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2007-03-17 01:49 pm (UTC)
I was totally floored!
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[User Picture]From: mactavish
2007-03-17 08:29 pm (UTC)
When I was an exchange student in Australia, we had the aurora australis -- southern lights -- late one night, they looked a lot like this, like a green shimmery shower curtain.

My host mother came in and woke me up for them, but she didn't wake up her own kids; as much as she loved them, she knew they wouldn't really care. She also woke me up to tell me Anwar Sadat had been killed, but not her own kids. She just assumed I'd know who he was.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2007-03-18 09:03 pm (UTC)
Cool story! I wondered if they came up green in the south, as well. Those pictures I selected (one is a drawing or painting, I guess) were the most realistic, if not the most beautiful aurora pictures out there.

Are you still in touch with your host family? Which part of Australia were you in?
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[User Picture]From: scottks
2007-03-17 01:02 pm (UTC)
Very cool! I wish they had an on/off switch, so you could plan a trip to Iceland like I want to do, and be guaranteed a chance to photograph them.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2007-03-17 01:31 pm (UTC)
I tried SO hard to take pictures, but conditions (digital camera in an airplane?) were not ideal. The Norwegian captain said it's hard to take pictures, but obviously lots of people do. Just requires the right equipment and timing. Winter is good! Long exposures and fast film (not travelling 700+ mph) are good!
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[User Picture]From: mactavish
2007-03-17 08:30 pm (UTC)
joedecker (who is a professional photographer took a three-week-long trip to Greenland, Iceland, and Svalbard last autumn . . . and didn't get a glimmer of aurora.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2007-03-18 09:01 pm (UTC)
I added him around the same time I added you! (hitchhiker pointed me in your direction.) Poor dude - I don't think I could stand three weeks of that weather with no aurora to redeem it. =(
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[User Picture]From: sivatonight
2007-03-17 01:35 pm (UTC)
You can see the Northern Lights every now and then where I'm from in Canada. To say they're spectacular is a sheer understatement.

I'm glad you got to experience them ... :D
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2007-03-17 01:39 pm (UTC)
Maybe all those passengers were from the north, and that's why they were so underwhelmed. Some of the crew on the flight were saying things like, "I've waiting my whole life for this! I was going to book an expedition with a travel agency just to see it!" The Norwegian captain said it reminded him of home... later we flew directly over his parents' village, he said. Anyway, wow! I felt so lucky!
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[User Picture]From: beaglebot
2007-03-17 01:41 pm (UTC)

I see rainbows all the time

but I still stop and look at them. I can't believe no one was interested.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2007-03-17 01:46 pm (UTC)

Re: I see rainbows all the time

Two or three peope did come to look! =)
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[User Picture]From: nickdangerous
2007-03-17 01:52 pm (UTC)
Neat! I hope to see them myself one day.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2007-03-18 09:04 pm (UTC)
I was so unprepared to see them when I did. Completely unexpected.
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[User Picture]From: _lackof_passion
2007-03-17 01:55 pm (UTC)
That's not fair, i've always wanted to see that. those people on the plane suck!
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[User Picture]From: indianasweetie
2007-03-17 02:46 pm (UTC)
I would have been excited with you! Promise.

I always got excited over stuff like that. St. Elmo's fire, fireworks, once a rocket launch (we were above the cloud layers and could see the thing forever, even saw the boosters fall off.
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[User Picture]From: webwawa
2007-03-17 04:32 pm (UTC)
someday i have to see those!!
poo on those uninterested people
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[User Picture]From: alliewondaland
2007-03-17 04:42 pm (UTC)
I would have been excited to see them too. That's awesome! Some people are just party poopers.
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[User Picture]From: hitchhiker
2007-03-17 06:59 pm (UTC)
i'm dead envious!
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[User Picture]From: mcgillianaire
2007-03-17 07:11 pm (UTC)
Lucky you! That's definitely one thing I'd like to see before I die. :)
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2007-03-18 09:05 pm (UTC)
Hehehe. Check!

(That was the sound of me checking it off a list..)
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