Life above 50°

Can we survive global warming? As the world joins in a conference about it this November, reports continue about wildfires, carbon dioxide and methane emissions and damage to our natural environment.

Big business still seems to want to expand their production. Buy more stuff… Sell more cars… But using energy and resources is not going to help.

If temperatures go higher the worry is that there will be a runaway greenhouse effect. The result is a degradation of our environment. Water shortages, increased air pollution, damage to the health of not just us, but the whole planet. We are currently using more resources than the planet can provide.

I think humans can be incredibly generous, thoughtful, considerate. We can work together to stop the damage. Not in the future, but now. I do hope we realise that before it’s too late.

Paintings at the waiting room gallery.

A post by @thewaitingroomgallery of my tryptich of Jupiter. I was there featured artist this week. The gallery is situated in Longport, Stoke-on-Trent and is linked with the British Rail Longport Train station which they are gradually restoring. They have won awards for their community work there.

I have a few paintings and glass jewellery on display there at the moment. There is lots of work by other artists there too.

Moonish

Full moon through a dirty window. It’s blueish hue reminds me of those old songs, moon spoon, June, tunes of the past.

A glowing cold ball in the sky. Full now, but no longer linked to lunatics and howling wolves. Perhaps the fluorescent glow from sodium lights has drowned out its flooding influence.

But the tides still turn under its gravity, pulled upwards, the sea rises with the moon above it, while on the opposite side of the Earth the sea is held less firmly and slacken into another bulge. That is why there are two high tides and low tides a day.

And the Moon is tidally locked with Earth, so one side always faces us now. The Moon may be the result of a cataclysmic impact when a small planet struck Earth a glancing blow and lifted matter from Earth into the sky. The matter from the collision coalesced into the Moon and its orbit around Earth began. Now it is gradually moving away, a few centimeters a year. As it orbits Earth it is gradually slowing our spin. We used to make one rotation of the planet in around Twenty three hours. Now we have slowed to twenty four.

Moon. So much to learn.

Perseids

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From Spaceweather.com

PERSEID METEOR ALERT: Earth is entering a stream of debris from giant comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Although the display is not expected to peak until August 11-13, sky watchers are already seeing some of the most beautiful fireballs of the year. Plan your Perseid watch with sky maps and observing tips on today’s edition of of Spaceweather.com.

I hope we have clear skies in the UK.

Seeing Saturn

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Digital sketch…

Years ago I had the pleasure of using a low powered telescope. I managed to find Juiter and then further away in the darkness was Saturn. It was amazing, the Rings were tipped up so they were much more visible than when they are in the a more horizontal plain. It was tiny, so small, but I could see it wavering slightly in the night air. I think Galileo thought it looked like it had ears?

To see planets with your own eyes, however small they appear is wonderful. The time it takes for the light to get to us means you scan look into the past. So it’s almost like time travel too!

If you ever get the chance, look up and see the sky….

World

_20200303_224853what would happen if the Earth was tipped up on its axis?

The world would spin so the equator was spinning at nintey degrees or so to where it is now. Every twenty four hours it would still spin West to East as it does now, but the Sun would not rise and set every day. I think it would only do that when the Earth was mid way between when either pole faced the Sun. Because the Earth rotates round the Sun. So the North or North East or North West would face the Sun for half  of the year and the South, South East and South West for the other half.

So what would happen to the poles? Even now, because the Earth is tipped at an angle and doesn’t rotate vertically, we get summers and winters. So there  twenty four hour days in the polar summer, and twenty four hour nights in polar winter. If the Earth was tipped over more the twenty four hour days and nights would last for months. The side away from the Sun would be colder, the side towards it would be hotter. Perhaps all the ice would melt at one pole and freeze much more at the other? Who knows? I’m sure scientists would have the answer. Thankfully we don’t face that question. Sadly we do face climate crisis. We need to sort out the current situation. How? I don’t know the answer to that. But perhaps we should follow what teachers put on school reports. We must try harder?!

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….

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.