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    AURORA IN LONDON, 1839

    A most graphic description of a display of the aurora as it appeared in Great Britain from 10 P. M., Sept. 11, to 4 A. M., Sept. 12, 1839, was written by an eye-witness, and published in a number of the New York Christian Advocate and Journal of the same year. The article was dated, London, Sept. 13, 1839, and reads: “Between the hours of ten on Tuesday night and three yesterday morning, in the heavens was observed one of the most magnificent specimens of those extraordinary phenomena-the falling stars and northern lights-witnessed for many years. The first indication of this singular phenomenon was about ten minutes before ten, when a crimson light, apparently vapor, rose from the northern portion of the hemisphere, and gradually extended to the center of the heavens, and by ten o’clock, or a quarter past, the whole heavens, from east to west, was one vast sheet of light. It had a most alarming appearance, and was exactly like that occasioned by a terrific fire. The light varied considerably; at one time it seemed to fall, and directly after rose with intense brightness. There were to be seen with it volumes of smoke, which rolled over and over, and every beholder seemed convinced that it was a tremendous conflagration.LDT 25.2

    “The consternation in the metropolis was very great. Thousands of persons were running in the direction of the supposed awful catastrophe. The engines belonging to the fire brigade stations in Baker Street, Waterloo Road, Watling Street, Farringdon Street, and likewise those belonging to the West London station,-in fact, every fire-engine in London, was horsed, and galloped after the supposed scene of destruction with more than ordinary energy, followed by carriages, horsemen, and vast mobs. Some of the engines proceeded as far as Highgate and Holloway before the error was discovered. The appearances lasted for upward of two hours, and toward morning the spectacle became one of more grandeur.LDT 26.1

    “At two in the morning the phenomenon presented a most gorgeous scene, and one very difficult to describe. The whole of London was illuminated as light as noonday, and the atmosphere was remarkably clear. The southern hemisphere at the time mentioned, although unclouded, was very dark, but the stars, which were innumerable, shone beautifully. The opposite side of the heavens presented a singular but magnificent contrast. It was clear to extreme, and the light varied and was very vivid.LDT 26.2

    BLANK

    PICTURE-AURORA OF JAN. 25, 1837.

    There was a continual succession of meteors, which varied in splendor. They appeared in the center of the heavens and spread till they seemed to burst. The effect was electrical. Myriads of small stars shot out over the horizon, and darted with that swiftness toward the earth that the eye could scarcely follow the track. They seemed to burst also, and to throw a dark crimson vapor over the entire hemisphere. The colors were most magnificent. At half past two o’clock, the spectacle changed to darkness, which, in dispersing, displayed a luminous rainbow on the zenith of the heavens and round the ridge of darkness that overhung the southern portion of the country. Soon afterward columns of silvery light radiated from it. They increased wonderfully, intermingled among crimson vapor, which formed at the same time, and when at full height, the spectacle was beyond all imagination. Stars were darting about in every direction, and continued until four o’clock, when all died away. During the time that they lasted, a great many persons assembled on the bridge over the Thames, where they had a commanding view of the heavens, and watched the progress of the phenomenon attentively.”LDT 29.1

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