Trees

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The trees spread across the world, as man finally withered and died. Killed off in a last great mass extinction caused by  humankind’s continuous destruction of the animal population and most of the plant world. Pestilence, fire, flooding and starvation had done their jobs.

All that was left were trees, rivers, marshes, seas and oceans.

The trees kept pumping out oxygen, the world was now habitable for any incomers, but there were none. Aliens may have admired our world, but they exist in civilisations too far away. None of them had things like warp drive. A nice idea, but not really feasible.

Nothing grew, except a soup of bacteria. One day that might evolve into the next great family of animals, insects, worms, critters. If man returned millions of years later he would not recognise the planet or its contents. Maybe the trees would remember….

Reblogging?

It’s not something I do very often, I think blogs should really be your own work, but a couple of times just recently I have reblogged. The reason? Because I really liked them and they are discussing things I don’t know. In the case of the science blog there is so much more in it about Daylight saving time than I ever imagined and in the case of the blog about living in China, I will never visit anywhere like that and we should all be willing to learn about different cultures. I hope you agree.

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Green skies

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The Aurora borealis is something I’ve never seen but always wanted to. When I see photos of it I’m amazed that electrons from the suns solar wind can cause such beauty.

The electrons and other particles travel along the magnetic lines of force at the North Pole (and South – the Aurora Australis I think it’s called). As they interact with the magnetic field they glow. The different colours denote different elements. I think Green is Nitrogen and Pink is Oxygen.

The Aurora occur at the poles because they are where the magnetic field is at its weakest and drops down towards the pole. If you have seen iron filings round a bar magnet you can see how the field curves round and down.

So what is solar wind? It is the matter that pours out from the sun when there is a hole in the corona (upper atmosphere of the sun). There are coronal mass ejections where the sun spews out masses of ionised electrons which interact with Earth’s atmosphere.

There is a lot more about aurora’s but my knowledge is not good enough to explain more.

 

Contact

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I’m just watching the film ‘Contact’ starring Jodie Foster. It’s about an astronomer who is searching for alien life. Her search leads her to find an alien signal and the story continues by exploring the affect on humanity.

The story was originally written as a novel by the astronomer Carl Sagan. He was also involved in the NASA Voyager programme, and suggested the spacecraft turned its camera back towards Earth as it headed out of the solar system. He coined the phrase ‘Pale Blue Dot’, when the image showed a single pale blue pixel where Earth sat in the darkness and infinity of space.

I love Sci-fi, and am interested in the possibility of contact with another civilisation. Who knows what might actually happen.

Moth

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Moths are not as common as they used to be, like many insects they are in decline. I rescued this one from our bathroom yesterday. Released into the back garden. I hope it found a safe haven.

Moths  and butterflies are important creatures, they help fertilise flowers and often their 🐛 caterpillars are food for birds. Like everything else in an ecosystem butterflies and moths play an integral part. Without one part others may fail. The same is true of other ecosystems throughout the world. I hope the people of the Earth can sort things our before it’s too late.

Sunrise, Sunset.

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I’ve looked at maps all my life, but never noticed that it gets dark earlier in the South East in summer than in the North West. Of course I know the Earth is tipped at an angle, something like 22° and I know that at the equator day and night are about the same length and that sunrise and sunset are about 6pm. But I hadn’t noticed the angle that the terminator of day and night is at.

As we are on the Greenwich longitude line I assumed the shadow would run straight up and down the globe. But of course it can’t be if the Earth is tipped. That also explains why we have seasons in the North and South hemispheres.