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This nOde last updated September 19th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
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aurora borealis (bōr“ź-ąl“īs,
Luminous bands or streamers of light that are sometimes visible in the night skies of northern regions and are thought to be caused by the ejection of charged particles into the magnetic field of the earth. Also called northern lights.
[New Latin aurora boreālis : Latin aurora, dawn + Latin boreālis, northern.]
|A sign for aurora borealis, or Northern lights, in certain meteorological systems. Compare with the sign , for holiday in the Nordic countries during the Middle Ages, structurally related to .|
March 13, 1989. This night on a cattle ranch in South Dakota, L. Hasselstrom was dazzled by waves of blue auroral light sweeping up from the horizon and meeting at a focal point nearly directly overhead. As the sky blazed, with the blue waves and crimson streamers, she heard:
"...a distant tinkling,
like bells. It came again, louder, just as a curtain of green
light swept the entire width of the sky from north to south. Each
time green flushed the sky, the bells rang, the sound
softening to a gentle tinkle as the light died."
(Hasselstrom, Linda; "Night of the Bells," Readers Digest, p. 185, April 1992. Cr. J.B. Dotson.)
Comment. Note the correlation of the sound with the green portion of the aurora.
July 29, 1990. On Coll Island in Centennial Lake, 120 kilometers west of Ottawa. Watching an auroral display, L.R. Morris heard the sound of the aurora:
"It was a faint but distant
windlike sound; which, by process of
elimination, could not be accounted for by any phenomenon
other than the aurora."
(Anonymous; "Auroral Sounds," Sky & Telescope, 83:105, January 1992. Cr. D. Snowhook.)
The Sun emits a constant stream of charged particles (for convenience, the "Solar wind"). As you probably know, any moving electric charge creates a magnetic field, and vice versa. This Solar wind, in turn, interferes with various earthbound fields to cause such astounding phenomena as the aurora borealis, or 'northern lights' (it also causes comet trails, which is why the trails always point away from the sun, even when the comet is on its way back 'out' of the solar system).
The Valkyries ("chosers of the slain") are beautiful young women, mounted upon winged horses and armed with helmets and spears. Odin needs many brave warriors for the oncoming battle of Ragnarok, and the Valkyries scout the battlefields to choose the bravest of those who have been slain. They escort these heroes, called the Einherjar to Valhalla, Odin's hall.
The Valkyries are also Odin's messengers and when they ride forth on their errands, their armor causes the strange flickering light that is called "Aurora Borealis" (Northern Lights).
|paragliding in Norway
Like many technology projects that seem to spring full-blown from the brow of a genius, Java is in fact the fruit of a near-lifelong quest. James Goslings career began at age 14 in Calgary when, during a high school tour, he memorized the code to the locks on the doors of the computer center at the University of Calgary. He then regularly admitted himself to read computer texts and use the DEC PDP-8s. He became so proficient that he was hired a year later by Digital Equipment to write machine code to be used for analyses of data on the aurora borealis from Isis satellites.
- George Gilder - _Telecosm_ - "The Coming Software Shift"
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