You know its coming…

In the northern hemisphere at least. We’ve hit the equinox, when the day and night lengths are the same. Cold, arrives, now. Unless we get some late summer heat. There’s been hailstorm in the North East of England and heavy rain in Scotland. Across the Northern hemisphere there have been hurricanes in North America and Typhoons in Asia.

The other side of the world is experiencing Spring. The South is getting warmer as the Earth starts to tip its south Pole towards the sun. The tilt of the Earth means that we have seasons. If the world was at 90° day and night would be equal across the whole world. 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark. No glorious late evenings in summer or long dark nights in winter. What an interesting world we live on.

And it’s not flat!

Distances

I like knowing things, so I thought I would look u some measurements.

The shortest distance on earth I could find was the thinnest section of the crust of the Earth which is only under the deep oceans and is mainly made up of iron bearing rock. That is about 5km.

But the thickness of the Earth’s crust varies between 5km and 70km, so the average would be about 35 kilometers. To give you an idea of how far that is, it’s approximately the same as Dover to Calais, which is 33.3km.

The distance from the Earth’s surface to space is 100 kilometers. Or three times the distance from Dover to Calais.

Going up in size, the distance from the Earth’s surface to the centre of the Earth is 6,371km. Which is 63 times the distance to space.

Now we go a bit further. The escape velocity from Earth is 11.19 kilometers per second. That is the slowest speed something would have to move to fly up into space and leave Earth’s gravity for good. The more massive the object, the more effort it would take to leave the gravity well of an object. So a gas giant planet is huge compared with the Earth but is less dense on average. I don’t know the figures. I didn’t look them up, but I read that if we were as big as Saturn it could gloat on our sea?

Going further out, the Moon, which is the furthest human beings have travelled to after reaching escape velocity is 384,400km away.

If you want to travel to the Sun the distance is 150,800,000 kilometers….

But man-made objects have gone further. We have sent probes into the vastness of space. Voyager Two has left the Solar system and is currently about 18,603,199,501 kilometers away. In distance at the speed of light that’s 17 hrs 14 minutes and 13.5 seconds (approximately) as of yesterday.

Of ccourse that’s nothing compared with the nearest star to our Sun. Which is about 4 light years away from the Solar system. And then… Space is infinite…

Life gets everywhere

Even iin the cracks of windowledges or steps. This was growing at Spode last year. Not pretty, but green, seed heads developing, waiting to be dandelion clocks.

Next year there might be ten new plants, then a hundred the year after. Not exponential, but a creaping greening. A creating of new life, roots diving deep, breaking up the earth. If only we could embrace nature more? Not kill it but give it a helping hand. We know its wrong to harm the planet. Why do we persist.

World, wrapped…

World wrapped… Up

In a plastic bag,

Or bubble wrap….

World wrapped in packaging

In yards or meters of soft, slithering, veils.

Plastic permiates

Plastic stifles

Plastic swallowed

Blocking guts

Strangling

Plastic smothers

It won’t go away.

Like an infinite being

Never-ending nightmare.

Permanent

Plastic…..

UFOs

Just saw something flying over the house in the night sky. Four really strange star shaped objects, glowing, shedding sparkling light as they drifted across the sky. Glittering and shimmering. Beautiful and obtuse. No signals from them, neither radio nor radiation. They are still visible on the Eastern horizon. I decided to follow them in my car. I realised how hard it is to drive and watch the sky though! Several near misses later and I was driving along a dark road into the countryside. The star shards were lower in the sky, loosing altitude..

How much further? Holographic shimmers, suddenly stopping abruptly in a dark field?

I climbed over the style, up the hill towards a high hedge, eyes accustomed to the dark, I saw….

Not UFOs but four holographic star shaped balloons, tied with ribbon, stuck in a tree!

Now to try and find my way home……

How big is Earth

My Earth painting.

How big is Earth’s diameter? Just under 8,000 miles. How big is its circumference? Just under 25,000 miles. That’s not very big really. There are statistics saying how many Earth’s fit into Jupiter, the biggest planet in the Solar System, or even how many Earth’s would fit into the size of the Sun.

What I’m trying to say is, this is the third planet from the Sun, in the habitable region of the system (not too hot or too cold) and we need to look after it. We are using up its resources at an alarming rate, polluting our home world with plastics and toxic waste, killing off the insects including bees with insecticides and heating it up till the North and South polar icecaps are severely effected and melting rapidly. Why are we doing this? Are we, like Covid19, like a virus, impacting on our host, the Earth.

Discuss…….

Aurora

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The sun is starting to wake up after Solar Minimum. Apparently there was a coronal mass ejection from the sun yesterday. This means that a twisted magnetic line of energy had broken and exploded with plasma coming out of the Sun. The energy can fly out in any direction but sometimes the CME heads towards Earth, then the magnetic feild around the Earth shields us. Except at the poles. Its like when you put iron filings on a bar magnet. You can see the magnetic field lines and the way the iron filings follow them. The magnetic lines dip down towards the magnetic poles. This is what happens at the North and South poles of Earth. The energy from the sun is channelled towards the poles and excites the gasses in the atmosphere. I think Nitrogen glows green and Oxygen pink? I’m not sure.

Anyway there has been a CME from the Sun and the chance is there might be some Auroral displays in the next few days.

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Bees…

Apparently they are more and more at risk. Bees pollenate the vast majority of flowering plants on the Earth, and their counterparts including hoverflies are also under threat.

What with? Insecticides, that are used to control insect pests. These include Neonicotinoids that have been found to disorientated bees (as well as killing them) so they cannot find food.  Without them we would not have fruit and vegetables. But unfortunately big pharmaceutical companies keep wanting to sell insecticides. There have been court cases that stopped their use. But they fight back.

If only we could use non invasive alternatives. Biological treatments that would eat pests. Like nematode worms, for instance. The problem is humans need quick solutions to save crops from things like locusts. But I think we should use these things sparingly. There are many ecological and moral questions and problems. I hope we can sort it out.

Hit the wrong button!

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I’d written a poem about nature and autumn. But my phone won’t save drafts of my posts. I hit the wrong key. So I’ve lost it. It no longer exists. Like summer moving into autum then onwards, the poem has gone into the aether, lost for all time. I could try rewriting it, but the sentiment is lost, the feeling has gone. I’d done some nice rhymes, but I’m not going to easily remember them.

And when we get to this time next year? The world will have moved on through space and time. We never come back to the same place. The Earth turns, spiralling around the sun, which in turn moves around the galaxy…..

Bye words, take care xxx

The end of the World as we know it?

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A spiky plant in our garden, a bit like the shape of a virus.

This virus though? I was just thinking this is like a zombie apocalypse movie- except there are no zombies (and no apocalypse)! I didn’t think the survivalists were right, and I still don’t. This is not the end of ‘Independence day’, or ‘Deep Impact’, or even ‘The Day after Tomorrow’ No president ‘hero’ is going to save the day. No bulldog like prime minister will defeat the army of viruses, its just not like that,

Blame them, if you need to, for that old cliche, of shutting the door after the horse has bolted. All of us, the whole world, is affected by this. But there are no zombie dead walking the streets, but a mass of our loved ones, gone before their time.

I hope I don’t sound flippant. I don’t want to. I DO NOT think this is the end of the world, although some people will be wishing it is. There are too many things that  can destroy this world, with bombs and bullets, starvation and lack of clean water. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think mans damage of the Earth is going away, we have had a brief respite, but that does not solve climate change.

So there you are, that is what I think the real problem is, mans inhumanity to man and our planet. Scientists are calling this era the ‘Anthropocene’ where the impact of billions of humans on the Earth is visibly changing things. Remember the hole in the ozone layer? The massive oil spills over the last century, glaciers and Ice floes melting. Oceans full of plastic, the air so polluted in some places that their populations have been in their own lock-downs to survive them.

Mankind fights wars over so many things, religion, resources, rights to water and food. There is no ‘sharing’ with the other people on the other side of the mountain. Mankind ( and womankind) would rather be selfish and keep everything for themselves. Survival of the fittest? or greediest? Maybe we can’t work together?

But we can TRY. When people say we are all in this together, they need to realise we actually are.

When I was a child, there were probably about four billion people on the Earth, I learnt a fact that if you took every person alive they would fit on the Isle of Wight. (Look it up, its a small island off the south coast of Britain, separated from the mainland by the Solent). Even now you could probably fit most of them on the island when the tide is out….

I often think that the Earth is the host and we ( the human race) are the virus or bacteria attacking it, making its glaciers run, clogging up its pores with plastic, making it cough with pollution and greenhouse gases. Its time for us all to be the good, health giving bacteria, the pro and prebiotics that add health to the world, not something that is trying to kill it off.

No doubt that when this is over there will be calls to push ahead with growth, to make up for lost time. But can we in all conscience accept that? Maybe we should choose our leaders wisely, give them the task of sorting it out? But I think it is in our own hands. We have to say something, not accept the status quo.