Aurora borealis

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Electrolyte
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Aurora borealis

Post by Electrolyte » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:50 am

Anyone seen it?

What does it take? Do you have to hole up in a frozen wasteland near the arctic circle in winter and just wait?

I understand you can see it in Denali Park, but in winter.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by northern_goddess » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:15 am

We see northern lights here (where I live) all the time. The last couple of years they have been active both winter and summer.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by 5waldos » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:18 am

I once saw it, very dimly, here in Denver.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by northern_goddess » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:19 am

This was a couple of months ago.


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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by section8 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:27 am

I grew up in the middle of the aurora viewing belt. It’s not hard to see them but you may need a bit of time.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:11 am

A hot tub is key. Or, for the tourists, a hot spring.

Winter is key. It is light out in the summer.

An active sun is helpful. Currently the sun is dead, which inhibits, but does not eliminate, the lights.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by kotagiri_tea_planter » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:14 am

Are the aisle seats on that flight cheaper?



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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Bill Barilko » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:24 am

Lost Soul wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:11 am
A hot tub is key. Or, for the tourists, a hot spring.
And a selection of drugs.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by rider5 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:39 am

This place is going to seed if simpsons memes start showing up. Fuck off.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by kotagiri_tea_planter » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:43 am

Meme?



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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by rider5 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:20 am

Last summer I was at 46N and there was a high wispy white cloud that I kept on looking at that did not turn any sort of reddish as the sun set and I figured it must be the AB. That's the third one I've seen. The previous two were more spectacular.

ABs are sort of like meteor showers. The best ones occur in the middle of winter at 3am. They might be fantastic but how am i going to practically stay out in the subzero night and get blown away by this magnificence? It's more like happenstance that you are going to be out in the air anyway and behold it at all.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:32 am

rider5 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:20 am
Last summer I was at 46N and there was a high wispy white cloud that I kept on looking at that did not turn any sort of reddish as the sun set and I figured it must be the AB. That's the third one I've seen. The previous two were more spectacular.
Those were noctilucent clouds. They are sky high, and so stay lit long, long after sunset.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by cuchulainn » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:33 am

I saw it when I was in college. Back in the days of DUI without repercussions, a few friends and I got drunk and drove to the farms around Dexter, Michigan.
It looked liked blurry red blobs in the sky.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by rider5 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:34 am

No, it was the AB. It was reported as such in the news the next day.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by cuchulainn » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:39 am

rider5 wrote:No, it was the AB. It was reported as such in the news the next day.
Guess again libtard.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:40 am

rider5 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:34 am
No, it was the AB. It was reported as such in the news the next day.
I've seen 2000+ auroras and have yet to see a white one that looked like a noctilucent cloud.

You must be a lucky beginner.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by rider5 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:42 am

cuch got it right.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by section8 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:16 am

The best one I can remember was when the Halley bop comet was in the sky. It was a massive, multicolored display that went on for hours with the comet in the middle of it.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by northern_goddess » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:51 am

Lost Soul wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:11 am

It is light out in the summer.

An active sun is helpful. Currently the sun is dead, which inhibits, but does not eliminate, the lights.
It's not light all summer.

Yes, currently activity is low.

http://auroraforecast.com

http://www.arcticrange.com/en/aurora
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by NorthAmerican » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:31 am

When I was a kid, our family used to spend two or three weeks every summer in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, one of the northernmost parts of that state (45.9420°N, 89.8842°W), and it wasn't unusual to see the Northern Lights. Here's one example of how they can look in Wisconsin:


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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Electrolyte » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:32 pm

northern_goddess wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:15 am
We see northern lights here (where I live) all the time.
Sorry. Maybe I should know this by now, but where do you live?
section8 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:27 am
you may need a bit of time.
Argh. That's what I was afraid of.
rider5 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:20 am
The best ones occur in the middle of winter at 3am. ... It's more like happenstance that you are going to be out in the air anyway and behold it at all.
Argh. Argh. Argh.
cuchulainn wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:33 am
Back in the days of DUI without repercussions ...
It looked liked blurry red blobs in the sky.
Not sure I understand. Was it really there?
section8 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:16 am
The best one I can remember was when the Halley bop comet was in the sky. It was a massive, multicolored display that went on for hours with the comet in the middle of it.
Where was that?
NorthAmerican wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:31 am
summer in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin
That sounds quite tolerable, even if it's not a bucket list destination without the AB.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by section8 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:45 pm

Go to Fairbanks, Alaska in the middle of winter. It’s in the middle of the belt, is dark af in January, and is an arid environment so there’s little cloud cover.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Stan In Maryland » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:22 pm

northern_goddess wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:15 am
We see northern lights here (where I live) all the time. The last couple of years they have been active both winter and summer.
Is that an open invitation for Stewbies to come stay with you?
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by DCComic » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:31 pm

I've seen it, but I was in the far north and lucky.
Apparently it's occasionally visible from as far South as Tyneside.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by 2wilzgood » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:36 pm

section8 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:16 am
The best one I can remember was when the Halley bop comet was in the sky.
Iz not exist.

Maybe Halley's, maybe Hale-Bopp?

It was a massive, multicolored display that went on for hours...
Spring break 1982, hitch-hiking back to UAF, somewhere north of Anchorage, Chris and I saw something like that. Unlike any other northern lights I've ever seen, it had us screaming and spinning around in the middle of the road, other worldly. Part kaleidoscope, part laser show, part Star Trek special FX. Don't recall how long it went on for, but it seemed a very long time.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by rider5 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:37 pm

On account of the location of the magnetic north pole, the AB is visible to more southerly latitudes in N America than in Europe.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by section8 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:00 pm

2wilzgood wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:36 pm
section8 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:16 am
The best one I can remember was when the Halley bop comet was in the sky.
Iz not exist.

Maybe Halley's, maybe Hale-Bopp?

It was a massive, multicolored display that went on for hours...
Spring break 1982, hitch-hiking back to UAF, somewhere north of Anchorage, Chris and I saw something like that. Unlike any other northern lights I've ever seen, it had us screaming and spinning around in the middle of the road, other worldly. Part kaleidoscope, part laser show, part Star Trek special FX. Don't recall how long it went on for, but it seemed a very long time.
Hale-Bopp. The one that caused those cultists in San Diego to off themselves.

Fairbanks is probably the easiest place for USAians to see the Lights, even coming from the east coast. Maybe Iceland would be a potential alternative?
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by NorthAmerican » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:33 pm

Electrolyte wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:32 pm
Where was that?
NorthAmerican wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:31 am
summer in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin
That sounds quite tolerable, even if it's not a bucket list destination without the AB.
Depending on the season, it was on the bucket list of people who liked to fish (muskies or northern pike) or hunt (deer). There are three towns along a 10-mile stretch of road -- Minocqua, Woodruff, and Lac du Flambeau -- where the populations swelled in summer with tourists staying in resorts there.

There was a Pow-Wow on weekends, which began with members of the Ojibwe tribe holding torches as they approached Lac du Flambeau by canoe. Spectators sat on the grass of a clearing that led down to the beach. Once the tribe were ashore they sang, danced, then skinned a deer. All that was free, but a search just now shows that you need a wristband to enter the Pow-Wow grounds, which includes a concrete amphitheater built on that former grassy clearing. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children, $3 for tribal members, and free for tribal elders. If that's not enough entertainment, there's now a huge Ojibwe-run casino complex less than a mile away. The place was a sleepy little town "back in the day," as you can see below in the 1950s-era postcard view of Main Street. I can only guess that it looks much different now.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Bill Barilko » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:43 pm

Noctilucent clouds & the Aurora Borealis at the same time aren't unknown as a google image search shows and most people couldn't tell one from the other.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by DCComic » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:36 pm

Bill Barilko wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:43 pm
Noctilucent clouds & the Aurora Borealis at the same time aren't unknown as a google image search shows and most people couldn't tell one from the other.

Made me check.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by northern_goddess » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:52 pm

Electrolyte, currently I live in the Yukon.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Bastet » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:18 pm

I used to see it on the way to/from school.

Best place to see it imo is the Icehotel in Sweden. The staff alerts the tourists when it lights up if you’re in the bar or restaurant. Plus there are cabins with windows in the ceiling.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Electrolyte » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:45 pm

northern_goddess wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:52 pm
Electrolyte, currently I live in the Yukon.
Cool! Yikes! Must be pretty, but must be cold in winter; Jack London cold. I had been guessing Iceland or Norway.
NorthAmerican wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:33 pm
on the bucket list of people who liked to fish (muskies or northern pike) or hunt (deer).
Sounds a bit Trump, except the part about the indians.

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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:20 am

Bill Barilko wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:43 pm
Noctilucent clouds & the Aurora Borealis at the same time aren't unknown as a google image search shows and most people couldn't tell one from the other.
Except the aurora changes on the order of seconds and the clouds don't.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Bill Barilko » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:36 am

Lost Soul wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:20 am
Bill Barilko wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:43 pm
Noctilucent clouds & the Aurora Borealis at the same time aren't unknown as a google image search shows and most people couldn't tell one from the other.
Except the aurora changes on the order of seconds and the clouds don't.
WTF does that have to do with anything?
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:53 am

Bill Barilko wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:36 am
Lost Soul wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:20 am
Bill Barilko wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:43 pm
Noctilucent clouds & the Aurora Borealis at the same time aren't unknown as a google image search shows and most people couldn't tell one from the other.
Except the aurora changes on the order of seconds and the clouds don't.
WTF does that have to do with anything?
Everything, aurora and noctilucent cloud virgin.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Bill Barilko » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:48 am

Lost Soul wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:53 am
Bill Barilko wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:36 am
Lost Soul wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:20 am

Except the aurora changes on the order of seconds and the clouds don't.
WTF does that have to do with anything?
Everything, aurora and noctilucent cloud virgin.
I have seen more noctilucent clouds than you've had Hamburgers and the Aurora Borealis know my middle name.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:22 am

Bill Barilko wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:48 am
I have seen more noctilucent clouds than you've had Hamburgers and the Aurora Borealis know my middle name.
From Vancouver by the cloudy, southern sea?

Fascinating. :roll:
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Scrubb » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:19 am

I just googled noctilucent clouds. You'd have to be an AB newbie to mix those up.

The ABs were reasonably good where I work last Monday, when I was out for a run. There is very often a kind of mostly white with a tinge of green, boring strip of them from west to east that just sort of hangs there, hardly moving at all. On Monday the strip had a twin that swirled and jumped a bit.

I have only ever seen 3 or 4 really spectacular displays with purples and pinks and greens, that swirled and danced and filled the sky for ages. Then maybe another dozen or 20 where they were just green but they danced and moved and were really really cool.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Lost Soul » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:58 pm

Scrubb wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:19 am
I just googled noctilucent clouds. You'd have to be an AB newbie to mix those up.
Yup. Harry Chorpita is FOS, and has never seen either.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Bill Barilko » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:17 pm

Lost Soul wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:58 pm
Scrubb wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:19 am
I just googled noctilucent clouds. You'd have to be an AB newbie to mix those up.
Yup. Harry Chorpita is FOS, and has never seen either.
Somewhere on this board I have (once again) bettered the nauseating old pedant Lost Drool and he has picked this thread to lash out with lies and calumny.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by eric84 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:23 pm

If you go to Yellowknife to see the Northern Lights (one of the better northern communities to do it), you have about a 95% chance of seeing them if you stay 3 nights. One of the things I miss about living in the north.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by 2wilzgood » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:46 pm

Meet Steve
Steve is caused by a 25 km wide ribbon of hot gases at an altitude of 450 km (280 miles), with a temperature of 3000 °C and flowing at a speed of 6 km/s (compared to 10 m/s outside the ribbon).

As it now stands, it appears that Steve may be a "visual artifact" of "rivers" of electrically charged particles in the upper atmosphere, known as subauroral ion drifts, which scientists previously thought were invisible to the naked eye. There's still some debate though as to whether Steve is a true aurora, or perhaps a form of airglow, which results from the upper atmosphere releasing a tiny amount of light as it is warmed by the sun and the Earth's surface.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by DCComic » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:44 am

"hot gases at an altitude of 450 km (280 miles), with a temperature of 3000 °C"

That temperature seems odd. Why doesn't the energy disperse before the gas gets so hot?
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by 2wilzgood » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:02 pm

Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement.

Steve

More better at the Atlantic
Scientists have long known that charged particles in the Earth’s upper atmosphere can form powerful currents, which move as hot, dense rivers through the thin air. From satellite studies, researchers have known that these currents, known as subauroral ion drift, tend to start flowing during major auroral activity. But they also believed the particle streams were invisible to the naked eye.

What the satellite observations reveal is that this very narrow ribbon of light, that’s mostly purple, is associated with a strong flow of charged particles in the upper atmosphere,” said MacDonald, the nasa physicist and an author of the new paper.

Steve, in other words, is the visual artifact of these upper-atmosphere ion rivers. “There’s a lot of work showing how [those streams] were correlated to the aurora, but interestingly, when we looked at all that work, there wasn’t any prediction that you would get light from this process,” she said. “So that’s a new aspect that needs to be explained.”

It’s not the only aspect of Steve that still eludes physicists. Researchers don’t know why Steve sometimes spouts unstable green lights, perpendicular to the purple streak. They don’t even know why the main stream glows purple in the first place. MacDonald said purple is an unusual color for aurora, which usually emit green or pink light.

Lyons, the UCLA physicist who was not connected to the paper, said that scientists still can’t explain the origins of the field that generates Steve in the first place. “It opens up an important scientific question,” he told me. “Scientists must now try to figure out why this very strong electric field exists. We don’t have an answer for that, in a specific-enough way to be satisfying.”
Nothing in the Atlantic article mentions 3000 degrees C, maybe Treehugger got that wrong.

Apparently, the author of the Treehugger article stated the altitude incorrectly, too.
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by Lost Soul » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:04 pm

DCComic wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:44 am
"hot gases at an altitude of 450 km (280 miles), with a temperature of 3000 °C"

That temperature seems odd. Why doesn't the energy disperse before the gas gets so hot?
Because the thermosphere is hotter than hell. But it carries very little heat due to being a near vacuum. Satellites and the ISS don't melt, for example.
Temperatures in the upper thermosphere can range from about 500° C (932° F) to 2,000° C (3,632° F) or higher.
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DCComic
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by DCComic » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:08 pm

Thanks.
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strife
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by strife » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:03 pm

Seeing the aurora on boomers in northern Minnesota on Lake Superior's north shore made me believe in God. I've seen them in Iceland too.
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micvan
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by micvan » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:54 pm

We used to lie out in the snow banks when we were kids and watch them. Mostly shimmering sheets of green, but a couple of times pink and green. I would love to see the swirly types in Norway!

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andybox
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Re: Aurora borealis

Post by andybox » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:07 am

You can often see the Aurora from the bottom of Tasmania.
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