Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/567

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There was one feature of the aurora of August 21, as seen from York Harbor, Maine, of so extraordinary a character as to deserve permanent record. I refer to the arch extending from east to west with its pendant comet-like attachments as shown in the illustration, which last, though unskilfully drawn, gives a fairly correct diagrammatic representation of the phenomenon.

PSM V63 D567 An unusual aurora borealis.png

An Unusual Aurora Borealis.

It was a clear starlit night with a low bank of cloud along the northwestern horizon. No moon. The display began between 7 and 8 p. m., with the usual nebulous luminosity in the northern sky with occasional streaks shooting upwards. These gradually became fainter and of but little interest, when, at 9.30 p. m., there appeared a magnificent arch spanning the heavens from east to west, the top of the arch being a little north of the zenith, and almost overhead. As shown in the diagram at least three fourths of the eastern half of the arch consisted of a pale, only half-luminous column of visible streaks, the band being perhaps as wide as the diameter of a full moon appears to be. The western segment of the arch presented a most extraordinary and magnificent spectacle.

Beginning a little east of the zenith and continuing almost to the western horizon, there appeared what might easily be likened to a string of tremendous comets. These pennants of