Skies

One thing about living in a temperate climate in the Midlands of England is the variations in the sky. We might have just had one of the hottest summer’s on record, but like most people here I am waiting for the rain to come back. The country usually gets enough, but at the moment satellite imagery shows the grass burnt to brown instead of the greens of summers. Trees seem to be fairing better because they have deep roots. But hopefully when the rain comes down from the sky the land will recover.

Skies….

Clouds fly on the breezes and winds,

Blue skies soon turn grey,

Magic sunsets illuminate the sky,

Stars shine out on high.

Shooting stars obscured by clouds,

Planet’s seem so bright.

Moon and Sun in turn appear,

Sometimes Moon hides Sun.

Look up, look up, into the air, not just to the ground,

Above your head the sky astounds,

The world below is gone.

 

Well I do like skies. There is something called the cloud appreciation society which has interesting information about clouds. They suggest blue skies are boring, and watching the different sorts of clouds is the thing to do, from cirrus, cumulo nimbus, asperatus, mammatus, stratus, so many names. New cloud formations identified. ..

Skies are such a barometer (no pun intended) of our atmosphere. I would hate to live in a country where the weather stayed the same for months.

X

Sunshine

sketch1531097431950

An ode about the heat and fires around the world this year.

 

Sun shines high in the sky,

leaves turn  so crisp and dry,

Green turns to Brown,

Frazzled flowers wilt.

 

Sun shines up in the sky,

Birds will still try to fly,

Some fall right down

We feel no guilt.

 

Sun flies high in the sky,

Land parched and very dry,

Fires burn a town,

ashes on all that’s built.

 

Sun heats the air and sky,

Animals start to die,

No grass has grown,

No waters lilt.

 

Sunburnt we watch the sky,

Eyes have no tears to cry,

Desert puts on her crown,

No drop of rain is spilled.

 

 

Ways to prove the Earth is not flat!

PicsArt_1532810951522

I keep hearing about people who think the Earth is flat so I decided to do a thought experiment to see if it is possible…

• If the Earth was flat it would be daytime all over the world at the same time, or night time all over the world.

• The sun would rise at the same time everywhere and set at the same time.

• There would be no equator, and all parts of the world would be at the same temperature.

• There would be no north and south poles and no northern or southern lights.

• There would be no need for time zones.

• Flat earthers say the horizon is flat, but that is because the globe of the Earth has a very large circumference.

• If the Earth was flat boats would not go over the horizon.

• If the Earth was flat you would be able to see all the way to the other side using a powerful telescope on top of a big building.

• If the Earth was flat we would be able to travel to the edge.

• A flat Earth would cast a flat shadow on the moon during an eclipse of the moon. (this is because the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon when it happens and if the Flat side was facing the Sun if would be overhead and you would not see the moon, but it would cast a circular shadow).

•  Finally….If the Earth is flat….what’s on the other side? Is it Elephants and Turtles all the way down? ( according to Terry Pratchett)

Rain and Shine

The UK is one if those weird places in the world where the weather can change at the drop of a hat (or a cold front). The hot dry weather we have experienced over the last few weeks has taken us a bit by surprise.

British people expect changeable weather. If its sunny for a few days, and hot, we expect a thundery breakdown of the weather, raining cats and dogs…. (metaphorically)…If it is raining we expect more of it, or fog or snow, or hail….we can’t get used to it….and yet we are fine if we go abroad, where its always sunny!

Britain lies in a temperate climate, with winds coming towards us from all directions…East winds bringing cold Siberian temperatures or rain from Europe, North winds with storms and snow, West winds with Atlantic gales and low pressures, or areas of high pressure that can bring sun or frost. Heat rising on winds from the South,  dragging up sand from the Sahara ….

There are many sayings in Britain along the lines of “if you can see _____ its going to rain, and if you can’t see _____ it is raining.” That is why its such a green land.

But, we are using too much of the water that we have in reserves, there are canals being closed for the summer because they don’t have enough water. Some reservoirs are almost empty…it is not a crisis yet. It may not get that bad but we are hearing about possible hose pipe bans.

Maybe It is global warming, all I can say is I hope humanity decide to do something about it…..

A carpet of dasies

FB_IMG_1530570406153

White and yellow daisy type flowers remind me of sunshine. The dark leaves could be space and the greenery earth. Strange how a picture of petals and leaves make me think if the universe.

We need light to live. Heat from the sun warms us enough to keep the planet temperate. Light allows plants to photosynthise and create Oxygen. Without sunlight we would just be a lump of rock and frozen gasses in the infinity of space.

But it goes further than that…. the first chemical that was present after the big bang, was Hydrogen. Atoms of hydrogen were pulled together by gravity to form stars. Stars are nuclear reactors, the more hydrogen they gather from surrounding clouds of gas, the heavier they get. Eventually nuclear fusion begins and the stars light up. Hydrogen atoms join together and create Helium….

After a while (a few billion years) the stars will have converted most of their Hydrogen to Helium, and further pressure changes that to heavier atoms, from Carbon, upwards in increasing atomic weight. Eventually the star is a cinder of Iron.

But once a star is mainly burning Iron atoms, it needs to use more energy to turn the Iron into heavier elements than the Iron can provide. The energy from it also helps keep the layers of material in the star supported, or expanded. The pressure of radiation and photons of light hold the layers of star plasma up.

Then the star uses up all its fuel . If it is small nothing much may happen and it just burns out. But if it is large enough the pressure from radiation and light is not enough to hold up against the force of gravity which is trying to make it collapse.

The inward pull of gravity can make all the atoms collapse inwards, making a neutron star. A tiny ball of it will weigh a massive amount.

But if the old star is heavy enough it continues to collapse, then the energy created by the collapse can cause the stars outer layers to explode outwards. This may be a Nova, or Supernova. Supernovae create a flash of light that can be as bright  as a whole galaxy.

If the star was even bigger it can collapse completely and create a black hole. In that case the gravity of the black hole will not allow matter or light that comes close to it to escape. There is a complete absence of light.

Funny what thinking about daisies can do to you.

Apologies to the physicists, chemists and biologists out there for my rambling explanation. I’m short on facts and figures but I do like to think about these things.

X