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Aurora Borealis from Greece

By: Anthony Ayiomamitis

 

Region: Europe

Site: Athens - Greece

Date: 2003 Nov 20

On a very rare occasion a massive geomagnetic storm in November 2003 created strong aurora that was clearly viewed as far south as Greece. From the photographer: "There are also references from ancient Greece of red dancing lights at night which referred to the aurora borealis. Places like Alaska are known as the best locations in the northern hemisphere to observe these dancing lights, as thy are closer to the geomagnetic northern pole. But when coronal mass ejections from the Sun are really massive and Earth-directed, aurorae can be observed as far south as mid-California. However Countries in the Mediterranean are very far away from either of the two geomagnetic poles and, therefore, represent very low probabilities for aurora observation. Athens, Greece is on geographic latitude of 38 N but its geomagnetic latitude is only 31 N. For example the southern-most tip of Florida (25 N) is a full 13 further south than Athens and, yet, is characterized with a geomagnetic latitude of 36 N or 5 greater than that of Athens." Anthony Ayiomamitis, Perseus.gr

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