Northern Lights Part 3- Rainbows in the Night Sky

Determined to break it and enter its arena, I try to push my way through the strong magnetic field. Under my force, I can sense the Earth’s field compress. The tension is increasing rapidly as none of us is willing to let go. The tension increases to such an extent that we undergo magnetic reconnection. The field snaps and for the second time in three days, I accelerate at an incredible speed.

A Climate Revolution. 2016. thejupital.com. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

Curious to see the earth and its inhabitants, I split myself into two and slide along the directions of north and south poles. As I continue my journey into the earth’s atmosphere, I can see nitrogen and oxygen atoms floating about in the air, roaming aimlessly. A satellite launched somewhere makes its way into space. I watch it as it opposes the gravity until it reaches its orbit and then goes about in a circular path. Beyond the thick layer of clouds, I see tens of thousands of buildings. I dodge my way through skyscrapers every now and then. This is the first time I’m seeing so much activity on one planet!
My sightseeing comes to an end when I reach the poles. As I look around me, it hits me that so far I have witnessed only the daylight part of the Earth. The other half is facing away from the sun. Though covered in darkness, Earth’s night side is no less active that the day side. The houses, ports and airports look like a million candles lighted at once. Standing at the center of the pole, partly covered by day and night, I am experiencing the best of both worlds. Eager to continue my journey beyond this beautiful planet, I try to pull away. To my horror, I sense its gravity pulling me down. I feel myself falling towards the earth, hard and fast. My speed is increasing with every passing second and to avoid hitting the ground head on, I try to cling to the atoms floating around in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, my speed becomes too much for them to stop and I drag them along with me. Slowly, I lose my energy to these atoms. I can feel the energy being sucked out from me.

I struggle to keep my eyes open as my body rapidly enters unconsciousness with every passing second. My drooped eyes register the electrons in atoms get excited by the newly attained freedom to jump outside their limited world.

I fade away.

Earth then experiences a phenomenon that will be told and retold by its inhabitants for many centuries to come. The energy from the sun’s particles is transferred to the electrons in the atmosphere. With the unexpected boost, these electrons zoom out of their orbits. They release energy in the form of light on the way back to their orbits. Thin, delicate curtains of pink, blue, and violet lights splash across the night sky. Shivering to the tiniest changes in the wind, they dance to the tunes unknown with such grace that for a long, long time, everyone at Earth gathers to watch nature’s play.

Tafreshi, Babak. A Colorful Night of Iceland. 2015. dreamview.net. Instagram. 27 Apr. 2017.

Generally, the sun ejects plasma in all directions every now and then. This phenomenon occurs mainly during the solar maximum (11th year in the solar cycle). It is very frequent during the solar maximum because that is when the sun’s magnetic poles reverse their polarity. Few of them are ejected from the part of the sun facing away from us. The ones ejected from the part of the sun facing us, may or may not come our way. Thus, northern lights are a very rare phenomenon to be seen on earth. Earth’s magnetic field is weak at the poles, which is why sun’s particles slide all the way till the poles before entering our atmosphere. How far the phenomenon is seen on earth entirely depends on the intensity of the charged particles. If they are not so intense, they cover the poles. If not, aurora borealis can be seen as far as the equator.

 

 

 

1 Comment(s)

  1. Raghavendra Gautam
    April 2, 2017

    Wow. Nice explanation mam.

    Looking forward for more articles.

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