Date: 29 Mar 90 18:24:15 GMT
From: email@example.com (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: Aurora = Strange Flash of Light?
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (John Webb) writes:
>> I've never seen any reference to an aurora producing something equivalent
>> to a "whole-sky flashbulb effect" ...
>ALL-SKY LIGHT FLASHES
> ... many well-verified observations of sudden flashes of light
>covering the entire sky exist. ...
One should remember that the Earth's magnetosphere is not the stable, rigid
affair often seen in early or excessively-elementary books. It's in
constant motion, with large currents and flows of plasma all over the place,
and can do some very surprising things. It's not inconceivable that once
in a while some event in the magnetosphere quite suddenly dumps particles
or current into the upper atmosphere over a wide area. We are near a solar
maximum, with the solar wind strong and bursty, and the magnetosphere will
be boiling with activity. I haven't heard of such an auroral phenomenon
being known, but if it is a relatively rare event that happens quite
suddenly, it could well have been missed.
Apollo @ 8yrs: one small step.| Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
Space station @ 8yrs: .| uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry firstname.lastname@example.org