By A. Treves, L. Maraschi, M. Abramowicz
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Meanwhile, as the particles from the magnetotail pass into the ionosphere, they are boosted in energy to 6,000 volts. This million-ampere current slams into the atmosphere at elevations of 70 to 1,000 miles. The interaction between the electrons and the atoms causes the chief constituents, nitrogen and oxygen, to fluoresce like the gas inside fluorescent bulbs. The atoms emit light at only a few specific wavelengths, which give auroras their unique colors—blue, red, green. 58 If auroras didn't exist, how would Earth be affected?
Many of these have more to do with mythology than with any physical mechanism. The ancient cultures that created Stonehenge knew full well that the motion of the Sun in the sky was the deciding timepiece that went along with annual climate changes. The realization that it had to do with the tilt of the Earth's axis probably occurred around the time of the ancient Greeks. There are no alternative theories available today except as stories told by primitive societies. For us in our time, the explanation we use remains unchallenged for the simple reason that it is the correct one.
It would seem that science and science fiction are not so different after all. It is not easy for the non-scientist to tell the difference. It's even impossible in some situations. ) 24 32 Back to the Astronomy Cafe What competitors to the big bang theory are being tested today? There simply does not exist a rival theory of the universe that is as comprehensive and as mathematically and physically articulate as big bang cosmology against which to compare big bang cosmology. This is identical to what happened to all of the various "theories" we have proposed to explain why Earth has its seasons.