Birthday balloon

Helium is the second element in the periodic table, atomic number two. It was first discovered when they measured the spectrum of the Sun. It was found as a line in the spectrum that did not appear to be on Earth.

Balloons like this are filled with this dwindling resource, if I remember correctly it’s from a place in America. I think there is a world shortage.

Helium is the second lightest element, but unlike Hydrogen which is the lightest, it doesn’t react with anything. So Helium stays on its own, it escapes out of our atmosphere. Hydrogen on the other hand reacts with many elements and this results in H2O, water, as two hydrogen atoms link with one oxygen.

Coventry University had a whole series of videos on YouTube that was about the elements if I remember. It was very interesting and they discussed all the elements in the periodic table. It was presented by a professor with mad grey curly hair….

Trees are lungs

We breathe in breathe out…. Carbon Dioxide. But trees and plants breathe out oxygen after taking in carbon dioxide. Why? Because they photosynthesise. They turn gas and water into food and grow. Oxygen is a biproduct.

Looking at a tree in winter you can almost see the bronchial tubes of lungs, the alveoli would be the leaves in summer.

That’s why we need to plant trees not cut them down. In the Amazon and other rainforest millions have been cut down. All over the world trees and plants are burning, either at the hands of humans or through fires caused by global warming.

We must change this. We must care. Even my government is cutting down woods and forests for stupid fast railways and roads.

Not in my name is the phrase isn’t it?

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.