Tuesday, August 03, 2010

On Solar Tsunamis And Stones In The Road

"We're back and we've gotta guest," is one of my favourite scenes from Bye Bye Love, a lovely little film from the 90s. I bought the soundtrack before the film was released on DVD, or maybe it was video then. Either way, Mary Chapin Carpenter sang the most beautiful song Stones in the Road. I like the way she describes the real and necessary slog of most of our daily lives. I like when she sings how,
"We drink our coffee on the run
we climb that ladder rung by rung
we pencil in we cancel out
we crave the corner suite...
another day another deal
before we get back home"
Not that I've drunk any coffee on the run recently. So far this summer I've spent my time unwinding and living my gardening-free life tiddling about close to the shoreline, taking photos, collecting bits of driftwood and stuffing shells into the pockets of my shorts. Scallops and razor shells especially. I've watched lunatics take off from the beach and launch themselves above the waves on little more than a tablecloth-sized kite. I've chatted with the mackerel fishers in the late evening sunshine, and I've chased runaway dogs back to their owners, all of us laughing as their dogs try to rid the beach of seagulls. I've also spent a lot of time walking and thinking and plotting.
We're back home now in sunny Derbyshire, just in time for tonight's "solar tsunami" caused by what NASA describes as a beautiful prominence eruption on Sunday and picked up by its new Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite. The eruption was so powerful that it sent the solar tsunami racing 93m miles across space towards us. The wave of supercharged gas is predicted to reach the Earth's magnetic shield tonight, potentially sparking a geomagnetic storm. The Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis could potentially be seen at low latitudes including Derbyshire. Click on this link to the SDO's images;

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