http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMagnetosphere_rendition.jpg

Earth’s Force Fields

 

Aurora seen from the International Space Station

Aurora seen from the International Space Station

As a girl, while traveling to our new home in Alaska and then during years living there we often got to see the Northern Lights: the Aurora Borealis.  I knew they were caused by tiny particles from the sun colliding with earth’s magnetic field.  Now I know lots more about these amazing events and the power of God’s protection over us.

For the basics, check out Astronomy For Kids to read up on what’s happening.

On the Alaska Public Lands page, they mention that the Aurorae [plural of Aurora] are highly electrified.  Sometimes they are so strong they knock out electrical equipment or even a whole power grid.  This dose of power isn’t always a bad thing, though.  Transmitters, like radios and telephones (the site doesn’t say if those are landlines or cell), can work by the electricity coming from the Aurora alone!

Artist's rendition of Earth's magnetosphere.

Artist’s rendition of Earth’s magnetosphere. The Aurorae show up where the blue lines come in toward the earth

The basic cause of the Aurorae is the “Solar Wind” coming off of the Sun and running into particles in earth’s magnetic field which push them back away from earth (that page is really cool, check it out!).  As the particles calm down from this collision, they give off the lights that we see.

The zone where the particles collide is known as the Van Allen Radiation Belt. It is pretty complicated stuff, so just follow the link if this is fascinating to you!

Just what is this Solar Wind and why is it important?  Most of the Solar Wind is made of tiny electricity-conducting particles [plasma ions] blasting away from the sun.  These particles would really mess up our electronics if they were able to get straight through to the surface.

But there is another piece to the Solar Wind puzzle: radiation.  Some of the stuff that the sun puts out along with all that plasma is a form of UV radiation.  If you’ve ever spent time in the sunshine without sunscreen, you know what UV does to you right away even under our protective shield. Imagine what all this would do to astronauts outside!

A war shieldFrom technology review: “On Earth, humans are protected by the atmosphere, the mass of the Earth itself and the Earth’s magnetic field. In low earth orbit, astronauts loose the protection of the atmosphere and radiation levels are consequently higher by two orders of magnitude.

In deep space, astronauts loose the protecting effect of the Earth’s mass and its magnetic field, raising levels a further five times and beyond the acceptable limits that humans can withstand”

Long term exposure to radiation is very dangerous to living beings.  The radiation ions get right down into our cells and can cause all kinds of serious damage.  You’ve heard of melanomas?  That’s one kind of damage that UV radiation can cause.  Our atmosphere with its ozone layer protects us from much of that kind of radiation.  If we didn’t have a strong shield protecting us, life would have been wiped out by cancers and such long ago!

English: Example of Heliosheath from Hubble Te...

Example of Heliosheath from Hubble Telescope image of Orion Nebula.

Did you know that it is also a very good thing that the sun puts out all that radiation and plasma in the first place?  Turns out that Solar Wind is a force field of its own called a Heliosheath to protect us.

The rest of the universe is filled with something called High-Energy Cosmic Rays.  Pierre Auger Observatory has an interesting page on these.  We can’t tell straight out what makes all this powerful stuff.  Our best guess is that it comes from exploding stars, but they may be shot out from black holes or something completely unknown.

Since people have never traveled outside of our solar system, we can only guess what would happen if the sun wasn’t protecting us.  Here’s a bit of what NASA has to say about Cosmic Rays:

Cosmic rays are different—and worse….  Unlike solar protons, which are relatively easy to stop with materials such as aluminum or plastic, cosmic rays cannot be completely stopped by any known shielding technology.

Even inside their ships, astronauts are exposed to a slow drizzle of cosmic rays coming right through the hull. The particles penetrate flesh, damaging tissue at the microscopic level. One possible side-effect is broken DNA, which can, over the course of time, cause cancer, cataracts and other maladies.

Thank you, God for protecting us from these things that would have killed us long ago!  Thank you even more for providing a shelter of protection from the judgment that you are sending on sin!

English: Castle in Olsztyn, PolandTruly my soul waits upon God: from him comes my salvation.   He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
God has spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongs unto God.
Also unto you, O Lord, belongs mercy: for you give to every man according to his work.  Psalm 62:1,2,11,12

Did you know the moon passes through the “tail” of our magnetic field every month and picks up quite an electrical charge?  Fascinating stuff!

There is debate among scientists whether our magnetic field has allowed earth to hold onto its atmosphere better.  We seem to be losing atmosphere at the same rate as Venus which doesn’t have a strong magnetic force.  Seems to me this is just another sign that the earth with its water and thick atmosphere can’t be as old as they need it to be for abiogenesis to have time to work.

Dinosaur-Bone-Wikimedia-Commons

Carbon-14, Archaeology, Dinosaurs, and Why You Should Care

The sculpture of an animal at Gobekli Tepe, cl...Some time ago I wrote about a temple complex near the mountains of Ararat which everyone agrees is really old. In fact, archaeologists date it to 8,000 BC (or earlier) even though the style is quite ‘advanced.’

Why would they claim this site is so old when they want us to believe people back then were simple, wandering nomads? I discovered it was because of Carbon-14 dating of the charcoal buried among the stones.

Now, the question is, why did the C-14 give a date so old when we know the world hadn’t even been created 10,000 years ago? That question has been niggling at the back of my brain ever since. This past week I ran into enough information to start searching for the answers and you should have seen me shout when I ran into them!

Everyone knows Carbon-14 levels are NOT constant through time

Atmospheric nuclear weapon tests almost double...

Atmospheric nuclear weapon tests almost doubled the concentration of radioactive 14 C in the Northern Hemisphere, before levels slowly declined following the Partial Test Ban Treaty.

The other day I found out scientists are sure there was some kind of cosmic ray burst back in the late AD 700s. They know because trees living at that time have an “observed excess of carbon-14”. That means, they dated to much younger than we know they really are.

If things can have “too much” C-14, isn’t it possible for differences in the past to cause other things to have “too little” C-14?

Amazingly, I heard to the answer less than an hour after asking the question. I was listening to an interview with the author Dr. John F. Ashton who wrote the book Evolution Impossible.  Towards the end of the program, Dr. Ashton mentioned how earth’s magnetic field keeps cosmic rays out which prevents extra C-14 from being produced in the first place.

Of course, I already knew earth’s magnetic field is keeping those rays out, I just didn’t realize these rays made C-14!

Everyone knows Earth’s Magnetic Field is weakening

Diagram of Earth's magnetic field lines includ...

Diagram of Earth’s magnetic field lines including magnet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a little hard to find a website willing to admit this without being Creationist, but National Geographic has an article on it. Do they figure out the world can’t have lasted as long as Evolution requires because of this fact? Oh, no, they just say it’s going to slow down and then start up again in the opposite direction (as they claim it’s been doing for billions of years). We’ll see how that one works out.

To find out how fast the magnetic field is fading, I checked out the Institute for Creation Research which specializes in this area. Turns out scientists have observed a drop in the magnetic field of 7% since we started studying it in 1835. ICR’s scientists figure at current rates it loses half its power in just 1,400 years. Even in Jesus’ time it would have been more than twice as strong than it is now. Wow!

Everyone knows Cosmic Radiation forms Carbon-14

I found a simple explanation of this process at an .edu website, but the web page background is really hard to read. Here’s what they say:

Carbon-14 is created from nitrogen-14 in the upper atmosphere of the earth. Radiation from the sun collides with atoms in the atmosphere. These collisions create secondary cosmic rays in the form of energentic neutrons. When these neutrons collide with nitrogen-14 in the atmosphere carbon-14 can be created.

First Solar Radiation Storm of Solar Cycle 24 ...

First Solar Radiation Storm of Solar Cycle 24 [HD Video] (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

The reason C-14 works so nicely to date things is that plants absorb it all the time they’re growing and everything eating plants gets the plants’ C-14 into their tissues.

I just “happened” to run across another Creation Science radio show to listen to while I’m waiting for a new episode of the Creation Today Show. Guess what the first program I listened to talked about: Carbon-14 and those trees with higher levels than normal! Dr. Don Clark explained the C-14 in our bodies today has only been there for about a year or so since we keep cycling it out somehow. Cool!

So…

Einstein's BlackboardIt isn’t very scientific to assume the level of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere has always been exactly the same as it is today. But, if you make adjustments for a much stronger Magnetic Field, you might just get dates matching the Bible’s. Horrors!

Oh, yes, we’ve just found Carbon-14 in dinosaur bones. What does that tell you?

The beginning of your word is true: and every one of your righteous ordinances endure for ever. Psalm 119:160

Cosmic Rays aren’t the only things that mess with Carbon-14, check it out on my post HERE

Answers in Genesis has a whole chapter on Carbon-14

Bible Archaeology has an article on Carbon-14 and other Radiometric Dating methods

Carbon-14 isn’t the only particle produced by cosmic rays, Beryllium-10 and Chlorine-36 are made in a similar way. The paper I found is horribly long, but you can find out more on pages 33-39 of A Christian Response to Radiometric Dating by Dr Tasman B. Walker PDF

Read lots more about the Magnetic Field:

ICR: Magnetic Field Data Confirm Creation Model

and The Earth’s Magnetic Field Is Young

Answers in Genesis: #5 Rapidly Decaying Magnetic Field