Mark Green's Atheopaganism Blog

Living an Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science

Chasing the Unicorn

EDIT: Saw ’em! A beautiful ruby-red glow across the sky around midnight!

If you’re like me, you have a list of things you hope to see or do in your life. I don’t like the term “bucket list”, but that’s what it is.

I am fortunate in that many of those things I most wanted to experience or places I wanted to go I have, in fact, been able to achieve. I don’t travel much any more because I can’t afford it, but I got a good two years of it into my late 20s, and over the years I have ticked boxes like skydiving and rafting the Grand Canyon and so forth.

There are, of course, many more on the list of would-be experiences, and I won’t get to all of them. But one of those I am most fiercely protective of is one I finally may be able to do this evening: to see the aurora borealis.

Now, I would love to see auroras from Alaska or Greenland or Iceland or Norway. I don’t know that I am ever going to be able to make those trips happen.

But tonight, a Class IV coronal mass ejection (CME) will strike the Earth’s magnetosphere and spark those dancing, colorful lights, perhaps as far south as I am in California, or even further (Alabama?). So I will be going out to a good spot to observe the dark sky, and looking to the north for, at least, green or red lights glowing on the horizon. Here’s a cool explainer from the Chair of the Atheopagan Society Council, Jon Cleland Host.

I like to think that adventure is always just around the corner, and this somewhat random event reminds me of this: wait long enough, and the unicorn will come along.

Here’s hoping!


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