As the Sun approaches an eleven-year maximum of its magnetic cycle, solar flares and eruptions occur with increasing frequency and violence. That means the Sun is blasting out a massive cloud of fast-moving electrons, protons, and ions in all directions. To see the magnetosphere display this creates on Earth, go to apod.nasa.gov for March 22, 2022. There you will see what NASA calls “A Whale of an Aurora over Swedish Forest.”
The cloud of particles from the Sun would cause huge damage to life if it reached us unobstructed by Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere. Earth’s magnetosphere deflects the charged particles coming toward us from the Sun. As Earth’s magnetic field moves the particles toward the poles, they hit molecules in our atmosphere, causing them to glow in a magnetosphere display that we call an auroral corona.
Most people in the higher latitudes of North America can go outside late at night and away from the city lights and see the aurora borealis or “northern lights.” Here in Michigan, the glow in the north was yellow and orange. In a northern city like Östersund, Sweden, the aurora was blue-green and high in the sky. The APOD picture may look like a whale to some, but I think it looks like an eagle. The color of the aurora depends on what elements are being hit by the solar emissions. The green is from oxygen, but orange and red come from hydrogen higher up in the atmosphere.
Earth’s magnetic field is essential as a shield to prevent radiation damage to all life. Scientists don’t fully understand what causes the magnetic field, but it is just right to allow life on this planet. Life would have to be underground for protection on planets with no magnetic field. When God created Earth, He gave it a magnetic field of just the right strength and geographic distribution to allow life to exist. This is another great testimony to the wisdom built into the creation process that formed our planet.
— John N. Clayton © 2022