Mysteries

Northern lights – heavenly fire: Crackling sounds, instruments turn on and the compass goes wrong. What do they portend?

The aurora borealis is one of the most beautiful light natural phenomena, it is because of this that they have attracted the attention of man throughout his history. Mentions of them can be found in the works of Aristotle, Pliny, Seneca and other ancient philosophers. For a long time, the auroras frightened people in the same way as eclipses of the moon or the sun, they were considered harbingers of catastrophes and epidemics, famine and wars.

From time immemorial, it has been believed that the appearance of a multi-colored glow in the night sky is a sign of future misfortunes. For example, it was the northern lights that preceded the fall of Jerusalem and the death of Julius Caesar. To this day, many believe that this is something supernatural and it appears in heaven as an omen of bad events.

And indeed the auroras can be alarming, as the sky can turn red, like on fire. There are cases when the red aurora was mistaken for the glow of a fire and fire brigades went to a huge glow in the northern part of the horizon. Versions that have survived to this day suggested that this is the reflection of sunlight from the sea surface or the radiation of sunlight accumulated during the day in the thickness of the ice.

Auroras have also been seen in the southern hemisphere. James Cook (1728-1779) was one of the first who not only gave a description of them in the southern hemisphere, but also drew attention to the fact that auroras appear simultaneously in the high latitudes of both hemispheres.

Auroras in the northern hemisphere usually move westward at a speed of about 1 km/s. The upper layers of the atmosphere in the auroral region noticeably heat up, which leads to the appearance of ascending gas flows, as a result, the region of the gaseous medium increases at high altitudes. By the way, it was noticed that this causes braking of artificial satellites of the Earth and affects the deterioration of the quality of radio communications. The aurora is also accompanied by strong eddy currents, as a result of which strong magnetic fields are induced and so-called magnetic storms develop. Bright flashes of radiance can be accompanied by sounds similar to crackling when the connection is poor.

Not many people know that the Northern Lights also make a sound – they crackle with an electric crackle, but it is clear that this should be listened to not in the city, but in silence in nature. The intensity of the auroras is tied to the spring and autumn equinoxes.

Legends of the Northern Lights

In ancient times, people tried to find explanations for them and, of course, many legends and myths appeared.

For example, in some Norwegian legends, the northern lights are called the Bifrost bridge, along which the gods descend to earth to people. Other legends say that the aurora borealis is caused by the shine of the armor of warrior maidens, who take the souls of the bravest warriors to heaven. The Norwegians believed that the appearance of the northern lights promises worse weather in the near future.

In Finnish mythology, the northern lights are called the river that connects the realm of the living and the dead.

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Many different legends, beliefs and rituals are associated with the northern lights among the Eskimos. For example, they believe that the northern lights can be caused by a whistle, and in order for it to disappear, you need to clap your hands.

They also have a belief that the aurora appears when the spirits play heavenly football.

Eskimos living in Alaska believe that only well-armed people can go out during the northern lights. Also, some groups of Eskimos are sure that you can’t look at the northern lights for a long time, you can go crazy.

Some North American Indians believed that the northern lights were caused by the lanterns of spirits that were looking for the souls of the dead. They, like the Eskimos, did not go out without weapons if the northern lights sparkled there.

In China, the northern lights were associated with the appearance of dragons.

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How Northern Lights affect a person?

During the Northern Lights, a huge amount of energy is released – therefore, sensitive devices can fail or turn on randomly.

During the radiance, cases of sleepwalking, insomnia become more frequent – people can behave strangely, and, as it were, renounce the world. Cases have been described that even in wakefulness a person can go somewhere, as if at a call – and only then wake up. Perhaps this is due to low infrasound – which emits radiance in addition to audible crackling.

In some people with an unstable psyche, radiance can cause temporary insanity. So one of the members of the team of the polar explorer Amundsen, when they were standing in the wintering of Antarctica and while observing the flicker, ran away into a snowy night, and another colleague of his tried to attack him

Russian Professor Chizhevsky, noted in 1915 that heart pain symptoms significantly increase during the Northern Lights, and immediately stop as the radiance ends. He also noted that the statistics of sudden deaths increases during the days of the heavenly performance. After 14 years, he managed to prove that during the Outbreaks people with nervous disorders and brain diseases die more often.

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He also believed that the radio waves with low hertz emanating from the radiance could enter into resonance with the frequency of the body – the blood becomes more viscous, the pressure goes down, the pulse grows. The inhabitants of the North, where protection from radiation is weaker suffer the most – their blood becomes alkaline and free radicals appear, which significantly shortens their life. Later, hypotheses even appeared about the dependence of epidemics on cosmic factors.

In the USSR, a study was conducted – they compared blood pressure in 2 thousand schoolchildren from Norilsk and Moscow – and in children of the north, the pressure was noticeably higher.

Painting by Nicholas Roerich – Bridge of Glory, 1923

In northern legends, the radiance is called Aurora and is called the “Dance of the dead maidens” or “the fires of the dead.” One way or another, almost all the ancients considered it beautiful, but portending evil. Even modern researchers note that the Shines have consequences. Due to changes in the percentage of ozone – and the heating of the ionosphere – the weather on Earth changes, droughts and crop failures, earthquakes and civil unrest occur.

Northern lights according to science

NASA scientists give the following explanation for the emergence of this mesmerizing light phenomenon. The Sun continuously produces a solar wind consisting of charged particles that flow from it into the solar system, towards its periphery. When the solar wind reaches Earth’s magnetic field, it can cause magnetic reconnection, an explosive process that allows charged particles from space to accelerate and enter the atmosphere. Magnetic reconnection (reconnection of magnetic lines) is a phenomenon in which magnetic field lines from different magnetic domains come together and quickly rearrange.

The Earth’s magnetic field, called the magnetosphere, fluctuates continuously and responds to changes in the intensity of the solar wind. Particles of the solar wind are directed towards the long tail of the magnetosphere, where they become trapped.

When magnetic reconnection occurs, the particles accelerate and move towards the Earth’s poles. Along the way, particles can collide with atoms and molecules of gases in the upper atmosphere, their interaction providing the atoms with additional energy, which is released in the form of a flash of light. These interactions continue at lower and lower altitudes until all the incoming energy is lost. When we see the glowing aurora, we are seeing a billion individual collisions lighting up the Earth’s magnetic field lines.

But not all mysteries have been solved yet, for example, the connection between the auroras and the weather is still not clear, although the locals are well aware that it is more often observed on frosty days.

Scientists have attempted to establish a connection between the aurora and solar and magnetic storms, which affect various aspects of life on Earth, for example, can cause the growth of various diseases. Also associated with solar cycles are climate changes on Earth, the occurrence of droughts and floods, earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions. All this seriously makes you think about the connection between the auroras and terrestrial cataclysms. Now scientists understand that the auroras signal the place and time of the influence of the Cosmos on earthly processes and the health of the population and wildlife. 

Maybe not in vain the ancient people were afraid of this beautiful phenomenon as a manifestation of the mystery of the Divine Power.

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