Sunday, May 26, 2024

Northern Lights?

Operation Texas Strong owners see glimpse of colorful lights amidst eclipse and recent coronal mass ejection


The Tri-County Reporter previously reported that a Weatherford nonprofit claimed to have  witnessed the Northern Lights during the April 8  eclipse. 

Nick Baczewski, the Noble Planetarium Manager at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,  responded to the newspaper April 15  to explain the phenomenon witnessed by Operation Texas Strong staff. 

"These are not the northern lights,"  Baczewski said. "We are much too far down south to see the aurora borealis. The phenomenon we see here is called cloud iridescence or irisation. This is due to the diffraction of light via water droplets in the clouds. On a normal day, the sun is too bright and there is too much glare to see this effect, but when the light levels were greatly reduced for a short period on April 8th, we got to see this amazing picture. It was truly something that I was not expecting, and I am very happy that we all got to see it."