Friday, December 10, 2010

Doc. 10 - Prepare for nature's 2012 spectacular! Nasa predicts brightest northern lights display for 50 years... but solar activity could play havoc

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Prepare for nature's 2012 spectacular! Nasa predicts brightest northern lights display for 50 years... but solar activity could play havoc with technology

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:31 PM on 10th December 2010

  • Peak in activity could see problems for mobiles, GPS and National Grid

It is nature's most mesmerising lights show and it's about to get a whole lot better.

Experts predict the northern lights will shine at the brightest levels seen for 50 years in 2012.

Since 2007 the aurora borealis has been growing in intensity and will peak during the year after next, according to Nasa scientists.

2007: This shot of the lights above a building in Iceland show an impressive but quite dim display

2007: This shot of the lights above a building in Iceland shows an impressive but quite dim display

However, if the 2012 aurora are as big as expected, it could cause disruption to mobile phones, GPS and even the national grid.

The event will be caused by the Solar Maximum - a period when the sun's magnetic field on the solar equator rotates at a slightly faster pace than at the solar poles.


Fast-moving charged particles from the sun known as 'solar wind' interact with Earth's atmosphere and are closely linked to the 11-year solar sunspot cycle.

Most of Earth is protected from this interaction by its magnetic fields, but at the poles the phenomena can be clearly seen.

When charged solar particles collide with Earth's air molecules, the energy produced is emitted as light.

Rings of light form around the poles called auroral ovals, but the rings can expand allowing the lights to be seen as far south as Scotland and in exceptional circumstances, even further.

The lights form high above Earth, usually above 40 miles and sometimes as much as 600 miles, higher than the Space Shuttle travels.

The solar cycle takes an average of around 11 years to go from one solar maximum to the next - varying between 9 to 14 years for any given solar cycle.

The last Solar Maximum was in 2000 and NASA scientists have predicted that the next one in 2012 will be the greatest since 1958, where the aurora stunned the people of Mexico by making an appearance on three occasions.

In 2012 scientists have stated that the 'Northern' lights should at least be visible as far south as Rome.

Icelandic photographer Orvar Thorgiersson, from Reyjavik, is in the middle of a project to document the growing intensity of the phenomena.

Regularly braving sub-zero temperatures for the last four years, the 35-year-old's photographs show how in 2007 the aurora is a much weaker emerald green against the Icelandic backdrop.

By 2008 its rays have become tinged with colour, bright scarlet and orange glows have appeared as reflected against the serenity of the nearby lake.

The ghostly coloured particle streams billow with silent grace as they hit the magnetic field of the Earth - protecting life on the planet from the potentially lethal solar wind.

Orvar said: '2012 will be the best, brightest and most dramatic opportunity to view the aurora in a long time.

2008: The aurora borealis above Kleifarvatn, Iceland, is slightly brighter

2008: The aurora borealis above Kleifarvatn, Iceland, is slightly brighter

2009: An eerie looking-green glow covers a frozen lake and home in Iceland

2009: An eerie looking-green glow covers a frozen lake and home in Iceland

'Now there are days when the lights are so bright you can read a book by them at night. They're brighter than the moon itself.

'By the year 2012 if you catch the moment the Sun is spewing out solar storms directly at the earth you will be truly awestruck.

'It will be like nothing you've ever seen before.'

The brightness of the aurora depends on the activity of the sun, which bombards the Earth's with charged particles known as the solar wind.

2009: The lights above a signpost appear to be reaching their zenith but there's more to come

2009: The lights above a signpost appear to be reaching their zenith but there's more to come

2010: This year the northern lights have produced some stunning scenes

2010: This year the northern lights have produced some stunning scenes

Energy and light is released by the reaction which in turn causes the mesmerising effect seen on the surface of our planet. it is more visible at the poles because they gather vast quantities of the charged particles.

'The aurora is a magnificent display of light,' said Orvar.

'It's so intense and when you face it you feel an indescribable connection with nature's greatest event.

'What's fascinating is its unpredictability, I feel some nights like I'm going on a hunt.

'I read the scientific data on the web, grab my gear, and head out into the night, hoping for the best.'

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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