Monday, March 8, 2021

Grateful For Something We Cannot See -- by Jane Kelley

Thank you thank you thank you, I said to the man who found my new iPhone in the grocery store parking lot. I'm extremely grateful that he was kind and honest and had good enough eye sight to spot a black phone on black pavement on a dark night. 

But this post isn't about him or any other kindnesses I've experienced in my life. I decided to write about benefits we take for granted. Oxygen in our atmosphere, water, moderate temperatures (well, most of the time). They're all miracles in their own right. But none of them would be here if it weren't for one thing.

The earth's magnetic field. The motion of the metal in the earth's core creates a magnetic charge that spreads from north pole to south pole and back again.

Illustration by Michael Osadciw University of Rochester







 

As you can see from the illustration, the magnetic field protects us from the solar wind--super charged particles that spiral off our sun and blast out at speeds up to ONE MILLION MILES PER HOUR. 

If you wonder what Earth would be like without that magnetic field, just look at our neighbor Mars. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have lots of evidence that there was once water there. The robot explorer Perseverance may find definitive proof that Mars once had life. But now it's dead and red while the Earth teems with plants and animals. Mars doesn't have a magnetic field like ours to protect it. As a result, most of Mars's atmosphere got blown away. What's left is only 1% the volume of ours. 

So we owe EVERYTHING to what looks like something a cartoon superhero would create by flying around the Earth and leaving a trail of ions. 

Which brings me back to being grateful for what we have.

What part of your core are you using to create a protective shield?

What is your invisible strength?

How can you make sure to keep it so that you can continue to create and sustain life?

As writers, it's important to pay attention to everything, whether it's an invisible protective force that saves the planet or where you put your iPhone.

1 comment: