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Aurora Borealis Makes Appearance in Utah

Aurora Borealis Makes Appearance in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The northern lights put on quite a show in Utah three nights ago.

The aurora borealis made an appearance in places across the country as far south as Utah and Oklahoma.

There have been no reports of the Aurora borealis in Utah since Sunday -- but people still are talking up that show.

The strange glow lasted from just after twilight to sunrise.

Solar gas and particles fuel the northern lights when they enter gaps in the Earth's magnetic field.

The charged particles strike oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere, lighting up the sky.

There are no fixed dates for auroral displays. They appear to be most frequent at the time of greatest sunspot activities.

Patrick Wiggins, NASA solar system ambassador to Utah, saw a blue-green glow from his house in Stansbury Park in Tooele County.

At first Wiggins thought he was looking at light pollution. The he realized it was an aurora.

Wiggins called it the best show this far south in many months.

Anthony Arrigo, co-founder of the Internet astronomy site Utah Skies, says the view from Park City also was impressive.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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