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Weaker-than-predicted aurora on display

By Associated Press 9:53 AM December 30, 2013

Roger Smith, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, says this year's activity was forecast to be weaker than the past two cycles and has been weaker than predicted.

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – This has been a lower-than-expected year for the aurora borealis, though it’s not yet clear what impact, if any, that might have on tourists that visit the Fairbanks area to see the northern lights.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1cCusan) reported that international travel publications had advised that this would be a good year to see the aurora.

The charged particles that cause the aurora are hitting a maximum this winter in an event that happens on a roughly 11-year cycle. But Roger Smith, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, says this year’s activity was forecast to be weaker than the past two cycles and has been weaker than predicted.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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