Aurora

sketch-1550405688049

“And what is Life?—An hour-glass on the run,
A mist retreating from the morning sun,
A busy, bustling, still repeated dream;
Its length?—A minute’s pause, a moment’s thought;
And happiness?—A bubble on the stream,
That in the act of seizing shrinks to nought.”

[From ‘What is Life?’ (1820) by John Clare]

I just read this quote and thought about what I would love to see. My friend recently visited Iceland and was lucky to see the aurora borealis. I decided to try and draw it since I haven’t had the opportunity to see one. I was surprised to find out they can be colours other than green which is caused by Nitrogen ions in the atmosphere. The pink is from Oxygen.

The magnetic North Pole of the Earth is drifting towards the actual North Pole at several kilometers a year. There is speculation about what is causing this. But as the Earth’s has a molten iron core it causes a magnetic feild generated by the movement of the Iron. The earth’s magnetic feild may flip (it has before) and so the aurora may drift further south.

The magnetic feild lines emerge from the poles like a bar magnet. This is where the Earth’s magnetosphere is at its weakest and the solar wind, which is made up of charged particles, comes down the magnetic lines and causes the gases in atmosphere to glow.

I wish I had more knowledge about it and I hope one day I will see it.

Spaceweather

 

image_2018-09-03_013943.png

I follow a website called http://spaceweather.com and I just read about a massive solar flare 159 years ago called the Carrington event. The flare caused a huge Coronal Mass Ejection of such force that it caused telegraph stations to be put out of action including telegraph paper catching fire. This all happened in the Victorian era, when electrical gadgets were very primitive.

Reading further apparently these events happen around every 100 years so we are overdue another one, the effect of which could be very serious for our modern electronic world.

There is lots of other information there if you are a nerd like me, including near earth objects that come close to earth (measured in multiples and fractions of the distance between us and the moon), information about comets and meteor showers.