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1870: Coloured lights in the sky

Re-appearance of the Aurora Borealis - It is an unusual circumstance for the aurora to appear so far south on two consecutive nights; but in the present instance the extraordinary display of Monday night, Oct, 24th, was followed, but in a less degree of brilliancy, for the three succeeding evenings, commencing on Tuesday at about 6.30pm in the same quarter, and presenting a similar appearance to the preceding night, but far more softened in the fiery hue it assumed and not so extensive.

This continued until 9 o'clock and at times east and west. And south was lit up for a few minutes with bright crimson and at one time two crimson streamers shot up simultaneously from south-west and south-east and meeting at an angle of about 45 degrees formed a complete bow, and again just before its final disappearance the site occurred on a larger scale, the arch extending from south-west to south-east. On Wednesday night the sky assumed a fiery appearance, accompanied by vivid lightning; and on Thursday evening there was also a rather insignificant display in comparison.

It seems that geographically we lie on the outskirt of the zone of aurora displays, and are favoured on the average not more than ten or twelve time during the year with then, small or grand, and most of them are not noticed, but from February to this present time they have been unusually abundant. The same kind of phenomena occurred in 1853.

Source: Surrey Gazette, 1 November 1870

Photo Wikimedia public domain image. The Aurora Borealis taken by Jan Curtis of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, ACRC

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.



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