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Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

Students in the Authentic Science Research class create their own research projects and use district materials and labs to complete projects.
Authentic Science Research 3 Removed from 2024-2025 Course Offerings
Emily Chau, Staff Reporter • May 23, 2024

Emma Carcamo, junior, sadly looks at her Chromebook screen. She has requested her schedule for the 2024-2025 school year but suddenly has to...

The parking lot is divided into senior parking and junior parking with senior parking being closest to the entrance. With seniors gone for the last two weeks of school, sophomores were able to purchase the use of a spot for the remainder of the year for $10.
Sophomores Buy Senior Parking Spots for Remainder of Year
Justin Small, In-Depth Editor • May 21, 2024

Because the senior lot was to become vacant after the Class of 2024’s graduation on Saturday, May 11, with two more weeks of classes before...

At any given time, students can be found in the Library or in a classroom on their phone, sometimes while also on another screen such as their Chromebook.
Hard Habit to Break
Willem Hummel and Gwyn MathusMay 17, 2024

Gianna Kensy, sophomore, said she often feels peer pressure to constantly post on social media. “On Snapchat, it's mainly you wanna say...

On Friday night, the northern lights were visible within miles of MHS.
Look Up
Kate Jesperson, Opinions Editor • May 15, 2024

Parker Goltzman, freshman, was in Malinmor, Missouri, celebrating his dad’s birthday on Friday, May 10. “I was outside with my family...

Look Up

Students, teachers catch a glimpse of northern lights in St. Louis area
Many people found that they were able to see the northern lights more vibrantly through the lens of their smartphones. This image was taken about 60 miles north of St. Louis.

Parker Goltzman, freshman, was in Malinmor, Missouri, celebrating his dad’s birthday on Friday, May 10.

“I was outside with my family and my dad looked up at the sky and was like, ‘is the sky supposed to be red?’,” Goltzman said.

Source: Kevin Koch (Media by Kate Jesperson)

Immediately confused yet intrigued by the phenomenon, Goltzman said he started to scour Google to find explanations for the unusual display of colors in the evening sky. What he found was that the colors were the northern lights.

“I went back out and decided to take some pictures, and I learned that the camera captures more light so the colors became really vibrant,” Goltzman said. “It was like looking at constellations in the sky; there were so many colors. I was in awe most of the time.”

Kevin Koch, AP Environmental teacher, explained that the northern lights occur due to a series of succeeding events that begin with high energetic radiations that often happen in large blasts called coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

As these ejections project off of the corona, the sun’s outermost layer, the sun becomes energetic and sends solar winds through the solar system. Eventually, they come into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere. 

One layer of this atmosphere is the magnetic field, where the ionized gasses from the solar wind get caught up and start to move toward the Earth’s poles.

While moving, the particles’ interactions with the atmosphere create friction and result in the different glowing colors in the sky.

The rare display of northern lights in Missouri, was due to the sun’s extremely active cycle that was emitting large amounts of CMEs, Koch said.

“Often with sunspots the sun becomes very magnetic and so it has these explosions of material coming out of the sun,” Koch said. “This last weekend had a very highly energetic CME.”

Because it was so energetic, many were able to see the northern lights at lower latitudes.

The northern lights are also known as the aurora borealis and are best seen around Iceland.

“Going to an area with little light pollution will also help you see more of the night sky,” Koch said.

Koch said he wasn’t able to see much of the northern lights, only some purple haziness, but through social media he saw many pictures his friends posted Friday night. 

“The filters in your digital camera produce the ability to pinpoint the details,” Koch said.

Viewing the northern lights from her backyard, Ashley Hobbs, social studies teacher, said she not only thought the lights were really cool, but also felt a strong connection to her mom.

“My mom passed away just a few years ago and from where I was viewing, the lights were a pinkish purple,” Hobbs said. “It was Mother’s Day weekend and purple was her favorite color. I felt she was watching over me. 

After the experience, Hobbs said she would love to go witness the northern lights again, specifically in Iceland, where northern lights are active.

“I really, really want to go to Iceland for other reasons too, but the lights would make it the perfect marriage of trips,” Hobbs said.



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About the Contributor
Kate Jesperson
Kate Jesperson, Opinions Editor
I am a junior and it is my second year on staff. Besides newspaper, I participate in Tri-M, RSD Lives, Symphonic Orchestra, and more. I also enjoy spending my time mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, and participating in Marquette's Track and Field team.
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