Friday, July 19, 2013

0 Mt. Rainier Like You've Never Seen it Before by Darren Neupert July 2013

The Northern Lights have been making relativelyfrequent appearances over the Northwest this summer, but the green tinge captured in photographs above Mt. Rainier on the night of July 12th wasn't the aurora.
It was instead what's known as "airglow."
Unlike aurora, airglow covers the entire planet and is there all the time, caused by reactions between solar energy and certain air molecules. It's just not visible in daytime due to sunlight and is hard to spot at night from other light pollution.
But according to the Atmospheric Optics website, airglow fluctuates a bit with the 11-year solar cycle as increased solar activity can enhance it a bit. And solar activity was high last weekend when these photographers were taken.

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