Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fire in the Sky

     The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) are caused by the solar wind colliding with atoms and ions in the earth's atmosphere.
     The color of the aurora depends on the proportion of oxygen to nitrogen which, in turn, depends on the altitude of aurora activity. Between 120-180 kilometers, the color produced is green; red, at altitudes greater than 180 km; blue and violet, below 120 km. With 'solar storms', red can occur at altitudes as low as 90 km.
The Goddess Aurora by Guercino

      In Roman mythology, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn. She had 2 siblings: a brother, Sol (the sun) and a sister, Luna (the moon). In the early morning, Aurora would cross the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun.  The Romans also saw the lights as coming from celestial caves (chasmata). Aristotle (Greek) thought the aurora came from fire sources on earth.
     The appearance of an aurora could inspire positive and negative reaction or be seen as a precursor of favorable (royal births) or unfavorable (war, famine) events. Scandinavian belief linked the aurora to dead virgins; the Finns felt the lights were reflections from the shields of the 'Valkyries', the war-like women who guided dead warriors to Valhalla.
Ride of theValkyries
     Australian aborigines saw the Southern Lights as the 'dancing of the gods'.
     The Algonquin of native North America, saw the lights as  the fires of the creator, Nanahbozho.
     From the Book of Ezekiel 1:4, "a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire in folding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire".
     Up until the18th century, people saw Northern Lights as being related to the concept of heaven and hell. Even during the Klondike Gold Rush (1898), the Northern Lights were said to reflect a great Mother Lode of gold.
The Northern Lights

     The Inuit of the Arctic have stories and traditions concerning the lights in the sky. The Northern lights are a phenomenon that these people have lived with for thousands of years and, like many people, they respected and revered the aurora. One tradition cautions people not to whistle at the lights as this would bring them closer, would cut off their heads and carry them off up into the sky. Another story explains that the spirits of the dead go to the Northern Lights where they spend eternity playing games, kicking a walrus head as we would a football.
Coronal Mass Ejection

     A regular aurora can be beautiful. An aurora from a solar storm can be destructive. But 'Fire in the Sky' associated with a 'coronal mass ejection' (CME) can be deadly.
     *Solar radiation: subject of research for the novel  The Tao of the Thirteenth God - Amazon Kindle.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Calamity (from Space) in the Holy Records

     Science has documented that life on earth has been destroyed many times before human history even began. Extinctions from super nova gamma radiation, coronal mass ejections (extreme solar flares), global warmings and global coolings (ice ages) have all probably taken place (see post: Real Apocalypse).
Impact Event

     The Pleistocene (Permian?) extinction is thought to have been associated with increased volcanic activity, perhaps a natural cycle in the planet's history, perhaps triggered by an asteroid or comet strike (impact event).
     Sixty-five million years ago, the  extinction of the dinosaurs is also believed to have been due to a comet or asteroid strike near the present-day Yucatan peninsula.
     The destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is thought, by some, to have been caused by an asteroid strike as well (see post: Calamity (from Earth) in the Holy Records).
Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

    In 1519 the ruler of the Aztec empire, Moctezuma,  witnessed a portentious event, a comet in the sky which foretold the return of the god Quetzalcoatl. The comet itself did not cause destruction but, instead of Quetzalcoatl, it was Cortez who arrived later that same year, leading to the demise of the Aztec civilisation.

     Our own sun has also been implicated in death and destruction inflicted upon our globe.
     Ancient Egyptian texts talk of the time when the sun disappeared from the sky, night lasted for weeks and then the sun rose for the first time in the east. Previously, the sun was said to have risen in the west (sudden reversal of the rotation of the earth?).
Moctezuma Witnessing a Comet

     What could have been a halt in the planet's rotation was described in the Bible, Joshua 10:13 ('the sun stopped in the middle of the day and delayed going down for about a full day'). In Joshua 10:11, a fall of stones (hail?, meteorites?) was described, killing many of the Israelites' enemies.

     The Maya in Mesoamerica predicted a change of age or end of the world scenario (take your pick) for December 2012 in association with planetary alignments.
     *Symbols of religion and apocalypse: subject of research for the novel  The Tao of the Thirteenth God - Amazon Kindle.