Friday, January 30, 2009

Interesting Night

I woke up abruptly last night to a thump and lay there wondering, was that an earthquake or just cats gallumphing down the stairs. As all the cats showed up on the bed a few minutes later I decided in their favor. However, when I checked out one of our local news website there was indeed a 4.5 magnitude earthquake at 5:25 PST this morning. The cats probably showed up as a result of the earthquake not as the cause of it.

But my interesting night wasn't over. Being wide awake in spite of the fact it was still dark I went outside. It was cold and clear and there was a band of light across the sky from west to east. This band was a uniform width about 2 fingers wide if you held up your hand. As I watched for about 10 minutes it slowly moved north and faded out.

I saw this same phenomena about 20 years ago. I believe it is called an auroral arch. That time it was in association with an auroral display but last night I saw no other aurora. However, I may have missed the first part of the show. We do get auroras here now and again. Last time I saw this there were ripples of light moving along the band. This time I didn't see any ripples but my eyes are definitely 20 years older and there is more light pollution from Vancouver BC to the north of us than there was then. What an interesting night. I have to admit that I went back to bed and slept soundly until 8:00. I am not a morning person.

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering if you felt the earthquake! It was so clear here in Wisconsin a few nights ago; it would have been a good night to watch the sky, but it was extremely cold! I have seen beautiful northern lights here but nothing like that; what an amazing coincidence with the earthquake.