Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Visions in the Sky

In my last blog, I mentioned auroras...I mention them again, because, mark my words, I will one day see auroras.....

Anyone fortunate enough to have witnessed a full on display of the aurora borealis is likely to tell you that the northern lights are among nature's most breathtaking wonders, as are their southern counterparts, the aurora australis. Generally only visible in regions closest to the North and South poles, the two polar auroras at their best are staggeringly beautiful, rainbows on steroids. Yet in addition to their eerie, irridescent splendor, the auroras are among the largest and grandest of Earth's wonders visible to the naked eye. These natural light shows illuminate the sheer scale of the planet, beaming across hundreds of thousands of miles of the thermosphere to bring this vast, normally invisible highest region of the atmosphere into sudden, bewitching focus.

Most often shimmering like curtains, but at other times beaming like the rays from a giant flashlight, the auroras have transfixed viewers since the dawn of history. The folktales of many northern dwelling people associate the auroras with various mythological entities. Finns bleieved their light was generated by fiery foxes; other scandinavians thought they were reflections of vast schools of herring; Algonquin Indians saw them as departed ancestors dancing around a fire; ancient Scots called the lights "merry dancers".

Only since the beginning of the 20th century have scientists begun to understand auroras. Solar wind is emitted in all directions on the sun. When this "wind" flows into the magnetosphere, the charged particles become excited and emit energy in the form of colored light....So I guess an aurora is a sort of huge orgasms in the sexual flirtations of the sun and the earth. The earth likes to be touched at its poles.....he he he

1 comment:

Allanna said...

I am determined to see the aurora borealis, too.

I just about break into tears of longing when I watch some on YouTube or the telly.

Maybe sometime we should go on a road trip to Alaska? Maybe kidnap Terra and Jonnie-Bean? It'd be like old times. ^_^