ETHAN AND LOU – BUCKET LIST – LOU – #1
SO # 1 on my bucket list is the Aurora Borealis or the “Northern Lights.”
WHAT THEY ARE:
The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south..
Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported. The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.
WHERE CAN THEY BEST BE SEEN?:
Northern Lights can be seen in the northern or southern hemisphere, in an irregularly shaped oval centred over each magnetic pole. The lights are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south. Scientists have learned that in most instances northern and southern auroras are mirror-like images that occur at the same time, with similar shapes and colors.
Because the phenomena occurs near the magnetic poles, northern lights have been seen as far south as New Orleans in the western hemisphere, while similar locations in the east never experience the mysterious lights. However the best places to watch the lights (in North America) are in the northwestern parts of Canada, particularly the Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Alaska. Auroral displays can also be seen over the southern tip of Greenland and Iceland, the northern coast of Norway and over the coastal waters north of Siberia. Southern auroras are not often seen as they are concentrated in a ring around Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean.
I’m a star gazer. I always have been. I have a running joke with friends and family that the stars are mine. They were created for me. All atmospheric and space phenomena are mine and mine alone. I get how that is arrogant and egotistical. And I am only half joking. I think what I mean is that they were put there for people who are willing to look up in amazement at the show we can get. I always look up on a clear night and the same question always comes up: “What are you looking at?” I’m always amazed by that question and my reply is always the same. “I’m looking at the stars, why aren’t you?” I look up in stolen moments and always have, even when I was not supposed to. Friday night football games, outdoor concerts, nights on the party barge on Candlewood Lake. The Northern Lights are on my bucket list because I KNOW I am insignificant. I always have. It’s part of why I try and have fun everyday. This life is fleeting. I know that attitude can get you in trouble and that life is not all fun and games but I also know and respect that it could all go away in a second. They say: “Smell the roses.” Yeah, that’s just one thing you could do. You could also: Hang with interesting people, kiss a pretty girl passionately, go night swimming, night jogging, try a food you have not. Conquer a paralyzing fear, talk to strangers and be nice and see what happens. For me though, nothing has been more satisfying in life than looking up. First off you feel like an ant at the mercy of a human beings boot and second off it’s the most beautiful thing you can see and we all take it for granted. The sky and the ocean give you a daily reminder that there is something bigger and more beautiful than you. They are gifts. LOOK UP!