Family is Everything

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon   Our greatest inspiration in life is our family—parents, siblings, wife, husband, niece and nephews even our grandparents. Not only the biological family but also true More »

Flower Pattern and Mandala in Sweet Potato

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon   Few days ago I crave to eat sweet potatoes cooked in coconut milk with sugar and jackfruit meat. While chopping the sweet potatoes (Camote in More »

Understanding People

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon   When looking at people is like trying to look at a pair of slipper with hundred varieties of style and of color. All look similar More »

Forgive Others for not Being Kind

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon    To understand people of how they act and misbehave is the kindest thing we do to ourselves. I repeat, it is the kindest and most beautiful More »

Continue that Dream! Happy 2017!

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon     Life without a dream is nothing! It is the fire that keep us going. It gives life to the soul. It is the breath of More »

Small Note

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon   While going to the vet clinic to pick-up my rescued cat after his neuter, a man approached us with his small note written “Apology for More »

Smile Don’t Cost a Thing

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon “Good morning ma’am,” the lady security guard says to the staffs of women who pass by at the x-ray security machine at the entrance of a More »

“Seeking for an Answer”-Personal Experiences about Religion

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon   It is not a surprise to me if some people hate me for what I am writing about religion and cannot accept some ideas that More »

Usual Unusual

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon   It was 12th of February, Friday after office during rushed hour where traffic is so heavy and commuting is such a burden.  It is so More »

Real, True, and Pure

Written and posted by: Margie Babon   Be blessed when you are able to find real, true, honest, and pure people. They are very seldom to find and rare to come into More »

Category Archives: Simply Science

Earth’s History by the Number

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon

Earth-cover

Right after the formation of planet Earth 4.54 billion years ago, it faces different periods from the occurrence of large meteorites, asteroids and comets, the rising of the ocean to the age of freezing ice, earth is so tough having potent tolerance to bear these changes. The altered processes of atmosphere, temperature, and chemistry brought tremendous impact on earth’s geology. The different life forms that goes through a process from born, reborn, death to decay transformed earth’s surface and underneath it and that transformation act as the only response to adapt changes. Never forget to include other natural calamities that the Earth undergone through like tsunami, flood, earthquake, etc. that cause remarkable effect on evolution and mass extinction until now and in the coming future.

Here are some of the notably 20 sketches of the Earth’s history according to numbers.

Enjoy!

 

————————

115,000 years ago: Ice age starts. The most recent ice age, which turns out last for more than 100 years begins. Sea levels drop.

115k yrs ago-Ice Age

———————–

74,000 years ago: Humans almost wiped out by volcanic eruption. Massive eruption of Toba supervolcano in Sumatra blasts huge amounts of ash into the atmosphere, causing a big drop in global temperatures for several years.

74kYrs-volcanic eruption

 

——————————–

85,000-65,000 years ago: Early modern humans migrate from Africa

85k yrs ago-africa

——————————–

55,000-30,000 years ago: Human migration continues. Groups of early-modern humans spread to South Asia, Australia, Europe and East Asia (in that order); they are hunter-gatherers.

55-30k yrs ago-Migration

 

———————————-

32,000-10,000 years ago: Human Creativity develops. Examples of cave art (by early-modern humans) in Europe.

32-10k yrs ago-Cave Art

————————

24,000 years ago: Extinction of Neanderthals (relatives of modern humans).

24k yrs ago-extinction-neanderthal

 

———————-

5,000 years ago: Indian Ocean Cataclysm. A large meteorite hits the Indian Ocean and causes gigantic tsunamis that may be the origin of various flood stories.

5k yrs ago-Indian Ocean

 

———————————-

20,000-14,000 years ago: Anatomically modern humans first reach the Americas.

20-14k-modern humans-reach Americas

 

————————

18,000 years ago: Maximum extent of ice of last ice age. Ice-sheets extend deeply into North America, Europe, and Siberia. South of the ice-sheets, mammoths, giant deer, horse, and wooly rhinos graze.

18k yrs ago-Last Ice Age

 

——————————

12,500-12,000 years ago: End of last ice age. Ice-sheets in full retreat; many continental shelf areas such as the North Sea are flooded as the ice melts and sea levels rise.

12k-End-Ice Age 

 

————————-

12,000 years ago: First settled agriculture in Turkey, Middle East, and Mesopotamia.

12k-First Agriculture

 

——————————-

12,000-5,000 years ago: Many large mammals—for example wooly mammoths, saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, and cave bears—become extinct, possibly as a result of hunting by modern humans.

12-5k-Extinct Mammoth

 

———————–

c. 11,500 years ago: Beginning of Neolithic Age (New Stone Age) in Middle East.

11,500-Neolithic Age

————————–

c. 10,000 years ago: Recorded human history begins.

10k-Human record begins

 

———————

8,200 years ago: Major Earth cooling lasting for several centuries.

8k-Earth Cooling

 

———————–

c. 5,500 years ago: First city-states in Mesopotamia.

5.5k-Mesopotamia

 

————————–

c. 4,500 years ago: Great Pyramid of Giza built.

 4,500-Pyramid

————————-

c. 3,000 years ago: Beginning of Iron Age in Middle East.

 3k-Iron Age

 

————————

400-150 years ago: Little Ice Age, a cooler period in many parts of the world.

400-150 Litte Ice Age

 

—————————

1883: Krakatoa Erupts: Eruption of the Indonesian volcano causes up to 230,000 human fatalities as a result of ash falls and tsunamis.

1883-Krakatoa erupts

 

—————————————

Other earlier history of Earth:

  1. Dinosaurs—the only dominant life-form on Earth had become extinct (although they left descendants that we know today as birds)
  2. Large meteorite hits Earth, probably contributing to the extinction of the dinosaurs
  3. Modern human evolved, almost certainly somewhere in Africa
  4. Ice age extend throughout most of the period
  5. A big drop and later a rise in sea level, the spread of modern humans across the world, and the extinction of many large mammals, quite possibly as a result of human activity.

 

“The earth history over the past several million years is that for every 100,000 years, we go through a dramatic climate cycle where we get 90,000 years of ice age and 10,000 years of a warm period. I think people today just have the expectation that we deserve a perfectly benign climate forever.” -Hugh Ross

 

Source: Bite-Size Science and Wikipedia

Illustrations by: Margie Babon

 

 

Tree of Life

Posted By: Margie Babon

 

normal_tree_of_life

People keep on saying that we are all connected in a tree of life. We are all connected to animals, plants, even with tiny insects. But what is exactly the tree  of life when it comes to Biology subject matter because tree of life is also discussed in different religion.

Scientifically speaking, the tree of life is about the evolution of living things and its relationship which are classified in different group.  Charles Darwin in his book Origin of the Species illustrated it in a branched-diagram like a tree. The study of structures of living organisms and fossils has allowed scientists to work out in detail how they are related to each other.  This knowledge has been gathered over many decades, and new life forms are continually being discovered—both living and extinct. The evolution of life on Earth is like a railway network, with new branch lines splitting off and diversifying by forming sub-branches.

Below is a Tree of Life diagram in a very simple presentation yet clear to understand. (Zoom the picture for a lager view.) Forgive my quick illustration, I draw this without any ruler.

Tree of Life copy

  • Commonly used classification schemes divide all life into five kingdoms.
  • Kingdoms contain subgroups called phyla, and below phyla there are further subgroupings such as classes, order, and species.
  • If a complete tree of life were to be drawn, it would have tens of millions of endpoints, each representing a species of organism.
  • The number of discovered and undiscovered living species of insects is estimated at between 6 and 10 million.

PHYLUM: A major division of a kingdom of living things. The animal kingdom, for example, consists of many phyla. The level below a phylum is a class, so the animal phylum chordates, for example, includes the classes of mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

 

“From the first growth of a tree,  many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to  us only in a fossil state…As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, if vigorous, branch put and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken  branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.”

 –Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species

 

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. –Chief Seattle

 

Source:

Bite-size Science

Wikipedia

Air Pollution

Posted and illustrated  by: Margie Babon

 air pollution

 Air pollution is the release into Earth’s atmosphere of substances that can cause harm or discomfort to living things. Pollutants are most often gases, but they can also take the form of fine solid particles (as in smoke) or tiny liquid droplets. Some air pollution results from natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, but more important factor is human activity, including coal-burning power stations, vehicle exhausts and agricultural burning.

The seven air pollutants highlighted here are among the most important. Other includes ammonia, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and some toxic metals. A particularly noxious form of air pollution, photochemical smog, tends to develop in places that have both a dry, sunny climate and a huge number of automobiles for example, Mexico City and Los Angeles.

Air pollution_01

 

Ozone

Ozone is an uncommon form of oxygen that has three atoms in each molecule. Ozone in the stratosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing excess solar radiation. Near the ground, it can harm the lungs. In the lower atmosphere, ozone contributes to global warming.

 

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

A colorless gas, carbon dioxide is considered a pollutant because it is a “greenhouse gas” and the main contributor to global warming. The main sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere include natural events such as volcanoes and human activity—notably the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline and coal.

 

Particulates

Particulates are fine particles floating in the air. Some occur naturally, originating from forest fires, volcanic eruptions, or dust storms. Other result from burning fossil fuels in power plants or are produced in car exhausts. A high level or particulate increases the risk of lung disease. Some of the most pollutant cities have concentrations up to six times higher than healthy levels.

 

Carbon Monoxide

A colorless, colorless gas, carbon monoxide is produced by wood fires and is also present in cigarette smoke. The gas is toxic because it reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen around the body. Most carbon monoxide in city air comes from car fumes. In some cities that gas is present ata level of 150 parts per million (good air quality requires a level below 10ppm).

 

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

This acrid gas produced by power stations is present in vehicle exhausts and plays a part in ozone formation of acid rain. Good air quality specifies a concentration below 30 parts per billion. Higher levels can damage the lungs.

 

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

A colorless, pungent gas produced by many industrial processes, sulfur dioxide irritates the lungs. In the air, it combines with tiny water droplets to form into dilute sulfuric acid, a major component of “acid rain,” which is harmful to plants and aquatic animals. In some cities, levels reach over 200 parts per billion, whereas for good air quality, alevel below 50 ppb is required.

 

Lead

Once a major pollutant in car exhaust, fumes, emissions of lead from this source have dropped by 98 percent since leaded gasoline was phased out. Itis still emitted by some metal processing and battery processing plants. If breathed in, lead can damage many parts of the body and slows mental development in children. A concentration below 0.2 parts per billion is desirable.

 

 

Important Facts:

  • The main sources of human-caused air pollution are power stations, vehicle emissions, and agricultural burning.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that about two million premature deaths are caused by air pollution in cities across the world.
  • Polluted air is particularly damaging to those who have lung and heart disease.
  • The removal of lead from gasoline in the 1990s has been a notable success in the fight against air pollution.

 

 

Source: Wikipedia, Bite-size science

 

Earth’s Structure

Posted By: Margie Babon

 

 Earth's Structures

Earth has three main layers: the crust (on the outside), the core (at the center), and between these two, a thick intermediate layer, the mantle.

Most of our knowledge about the interior of the earth has come from information revealed by the study of earthquake wave.About 99 percent of the rock in Earth’s interior is hotter than 2,000 deg. Fahrenheit. The processes of radioactive decay generate heat in Earth’s interior faster than the current rate of human global energy consumption.

For a few million years, planet earth was a molten liquid or semi molten sphere.  The gravity concentrated near the center is denser and the materials near the surface are less dense. As earth solidified, it developed an internal structure of three main layers: a thin crust of relatively light rocks, a much deeper layer of denser rocks—the mantle and at the center—a heavy core, made of iron and nickel.

 

Earth as an egg

Earth as an Egg

The proportions of crust, mantle, and core that comprise Earth are similar to the proportions of shell, white and yolk in an egg.

 

What is Geothermal?

Geothermal- relating to heat generated in Earth’s interior by the decay of radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium.

 

What is the deepest artificial hole on Earth?

The deepest artificial hole that has been made in Earth’s crust accounts to 7.4 miles deep, called the Kola Superdeep Borehole located in Northwestern Russia, close to that country’s border with Norway. Drilling started in 1970, with the objective of establishing result of scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union on the Kola Peninsula. The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth’s crust. In 1989 reached 12,262 meteres (40,230 ft.)  and still the deepest artificial point on Earth.

For two decades, it was the longest borehole in the world until surpassed in 2008 by Al Shaheen oil well in Qatar with 12,289-meter-long (40,318 ft) and in 2011 by 12,345-meter-long (40,502. Ft) by Sakhalin oil well in the offshore of the Russian island.

 

The Kola Super Deep Hole expected to reach 13,500 m (44,300ft) by the end of 1990 and 15,000m (49,000 ft) by 1993. But due to higher-than expected temperatures 180 deg C (356 deg Fahrenheit), drilling deeper was unfeasible and the drilling was stopped in 1992.

 

Reference: Wikipedia, Bite-size Science

 Illustrations: Margie Babon

 

About 

margie-blog pic-final 21oct

Margie Babon was given a privilege to become a wildlife photographer in 2006 that let her choose to be a vegetarian for seven years now. Has background in film making as a producer and researcher on the plight of Agta-Dumagat documentary film Children of the Mountains that garnered the 2005 Mark Haslam Awardee  in Toronto, Canada. Sharing her passion in photography, drawing & creative writing  is a great opportunity to express her wisdom which is beyond academic teaching career for more than five years in College of Architecture and School of Fine Arts.

Where are we in the Universe—“Our New Home called Laniakea Supercluster”

Posted and Written By: Margie Babon

 

Laniakea Supercluster2

The Laniakea Supercluster announced on Sept. 3, 2014 where the Milky Way is situated. Laniakea is a Hawaiian word means “immeasurable heaven.”

 

Lead researcher and scientist R. Brent Tully, an astronomer from University of Hawaii at Manoa had a brilliant new finding on where we are in the universe.  He and his team conduct a fascinating study for Nature, they clearly map out a supercluster where our galaxy Milky Way belongs to. By using Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and other radio telescopes,  the team was able to clearly map out the Laniakea Supercluster. The new identified galactic supercluster Laniakea was announced on September 3, 2014  by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.  The paper work was in the cover story of September 4 issue of the journal Nature.

 

The Local Group

How to understand the Local Group

 

Superclusters are the largest structure in the Universe made up of Local group that contain thousands of galaxies all interconnected in a web filaments.

Laniakea Superclusters contains more than 100,00 galaxies, stretches 500 million light years across. The Milky Way is just on the outskirts on one of the filaments, perched on the edge  of Laniakea Superclusters.

 

The galaxy Milky Way on the edge of the filament of Liniakea Supercluster

 

Ever since the Big Bang study, scientist found out that the universe is expanding and moving in certain pattern.  Through the studies led by Tully on the motion and movement of of 8,000 galaxies neighborhood including Milky Way, they create a map on how galaxies are moving towards a dense region called “The Great Attractor” and slowly pulling Milky Way and other galaxies towards it.

 

great_attracto

All galaxies and superclusters are moving towards The Great Attractor. Like a watershed, the water knows how to move into that direction.

 

The team of Tully has been able to clarify the role of the Great Attractor. “Laniakea motion inside the supercluster of galaxies is directed inward—in the direction of the constellation Centaurus—like the flow of watercourse that descends into the valley. The region of the Great Attractor is configured as the large hollow with a gravitational sphere of attraction that includes the entire extent of the supercluster itself.  It’s a little ‘how to look for a watershed on the Earth’s surface: a clear boundary from the top of the Rocky Mountains, but much less identifiable from the plain. Yet the water knows in which direction to go,” according to Tully.

 

Laniakea name was suggested by Nawa’a Napoloen, an associate professor of Hawaiian Language , University of Hawaii. The name honors the Polynesian navigators who used knowledge of the heavens to voyage across the immensity of the Pacific Ocean. Laniakea is a Hawaiian word which means ‘immeasurable heaven.”

 

laniakea_and_perseus-pisces.0

 

 

And what is more interesting, the boundary of Laniakea supercluster meets another supercluster known as Perseus-Pisces.  Laniakea and Persues-Pisces are just a small dot on a much much broader universe.

 

Laniakea is in turn pulled from an even larger cluster of galaxies called the Shapely Concentration.

 

Laniekea Supercluster

A larger supercluster called Shapley is pulling the Liniekea supercluster towards The Great Attractor

 

“It’s really huge and we are drawn towards it, we do not still have enough information to determine the profile of the Shapely Concentration. Could we be a part of something even bigger than Laniakea,” says Tully.

 

 

To understand more the new discovery of Laniakea Supercluster, Watch the detailed  video in this link:

Science 2.0

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/earths_new_address_isa_tiny_part_of_the_laniakea_galactic_supercluster-144102

 

 

Understanding the Structure of the Universe

mainimage_Millennium_simulation_500Mpch

The Structure of Universe in a large scale

This is how the universe looks on a very large scale. It’s not a photo but the outcome of a simulation called The Millennium Simulation that matches the observed distribution of galaxies in the universe visualizing the biggest structures of the universe, the filaments.

The distance from the left side of the image to the right side is 1,500 Mpc/h. The strange unit Mpc/h reflects that the distance depends on the exact value of the Hubble constant. With the best guess we have today, you can calculate this distance to be approximately 6.7 billion light years. In between the filaments there are voids, which are almost empty areas in the universe with diameters of between 40 million and 400 million light years.

 

 

mainimage_Millennium_simulation_125Mpch

Cluster of gaalxies and superclusters

One level deeper, you can see the structure in more detail. Still we see filaments, voids and, in the center of the image, a huge galaxy supercluster. You can see clusters of galaxies and superclusters, and still the whole image from left to right measures approximately 1.7 billion light years.

 

 

broader_universe_structure.0

Greenish part is called superclusters

The greenish central region of the image is a supercluster containing thousands of huge galaxies. Many other clusters of galaxies can be seen. The distance from the left to the right side of the image is more or less 400 million light years. Let’s zoom in one last time to see individual galaxies.

 

 

mainimage_Millennium_simulation_2Mpch

Close-up of the structure of the universe. White dots are galaxies and not stars.

Every dot in this image is a galaxy, not a star. You can see the distribution of dark matter in this image and the images before, but it’s almost the same as the distribution of galaxies. Even this image still covers a huge area; from left to right it’s a distance of approximately 45 million light years; the 2 Mpc/h represent almost 9 million light years. Remember that the Andromeda Galaxy is just 2.5 million light years away and the Large Magellanic Cloud only 160 000 light years.

 

 

great_attracto

The bigger challenge that the scientist and astronomer is facing now is to discover what is in the Great Attractor. And if all the galaxies and superclusters are moving towards it, how many billion of years will it take to reach that?  Who is the divine force behind this?

 

It is good to know that science is discovering fascinating knowledge about the universe. Once in a while, it is  good to know information about this. But we must keep our  focus on our priorities in life. And that means,  do the things we ought to do, maximize our skills and take steps towards our ambition and goals, living the best moment of our life.  Life on earth must go on. Live, Work and Love. 

 

“Isn’t it fascinating, the universe is full of mystery and you realize, the more we discover the deeper meaning of that mystery, mystery  is Love,  for Love is everything.”

 

 That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” –Albert Einstein

 

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science. “-Edwin Powell Hubble

 

 

Other References:

NBC news

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/add-line-our-galactic-address-laniakea-supercluster-n194841

 

National geographic 

http://www.nationalgeographic.it/scienza/spazio/2014/09/04/news/ai_confini_del_supercluster-2273574/

 

Science Daily

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140903133319.htm

 

Journal Reference:

R. Brent Tully, Hélène Courtois, Yehuda Hoffman, Daniel Pomarède. The Laniakea supercluster of galaxiesNature, 2014; 513 (7516): 71 DOI:10.1038/nature13674

 

Credits:  Photos from Nature  and Sun.org

 

 

 

What is Biomagnification?

Posted By: Margie Babon

 

 Biomagnification_03

 

With so much issues in our environment today such as ozone thinning, too much greenhouse gases, deforestation, polluted rivers and ocean, disposal of nuclear waste and loss of biodiversity ( in which some case are getting worse) highly contribute to climate change. The food that the human and animals consume are greatly affected by the “invisible pollutants or toxins” especially in the marine food chains.  Let us take a look on how toxins from the pollution affect marine species through biomagnifications in the food chain.

 

From Wikipedia definition, biomagnifications also known as bioamplification or biological magnification often prefers to the process whereby certain substances such as pesticides or heavy metals move up the food chain which become concentrated in tissues or internal organs as they move up the chain.

 

From the Bite-size Science, Robert Dinwiddie explains it much clearer that the

  • Biomagnification is the buildup of a toxic substance in a food chain in which the toxin becomes increasingly concentrated with each stage in chain.
  • Most large marine animals contain high concentrations of toxins in their tissues due to effects of biomagnification.
  • Pregnant women and children are advised not to eat some species of large fish such as shark and swordfish, because of their exceptionally high in mercury content.

 

Biomagnification is an insidious process that particularly affects lake and marine environment which has similar process on land. This is the gradual buildup of a toxic substance from seemingly innocuous to potentially harmful concentration as a result of the operation of a food chain. The animals most affected by this process are those at the top of food chains, particularly in the case of marine pollution, seabirds and marine mammals such as dolphins, seals and porpoises. Biomagnification is also potentially a cause of harm to humans through the consumption of affected fish.

 

A number of specific toxic chemicals are particularly likely to be biomagnified if they enter the environment because of their persistence (i.e. they do not break down easily) and because, once they get into animals, they are neither broken down not excreted, but instead become more concentrated in the animal’s fatty issues. These chemicals include pesticides such as DDT, compounds of arsenic and mercury, and a class of compounds called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which were once common component of various industrial and household chemicals.

 

Biomagnification_01

 

1.       Toxic pollutant. The concentration of toxic pollutant in sea water might seem to be exceedingly low, perhaps five parts per trillion by weight.

2.       Phytoplankton (small plants that float in the ocean) absorb the toxin. It remains in their tissues without being broken down or excreted. Over time the toxin build up to a concentration of for example, 200 parts per trillion—a 40fold increase.

3.       Zooplankton (small floating marine animals) consume the phytoplankton and so take in the toxin. Again, it remains locked in their tissues, without being broken down or excreted. Its concentration, builds up to perhaps two parts per billion, a ten-fold increase over the concentration at the previous stage.

 

Biomagnification_02

4.       Small fish graze on the zooplankton, and so take in the toxin, which becomes concentrated in their fatty issues. There it builds up to a concentration of around 20 parts per billion, another 10-fold increase.

5.       Large fish consumes smaller fish, and again take in the toxin, which becomes concentrated to 80 to 100 parts per billion in their fatty tissues, a 4-5 fold increase.

6.       A dolphin eats the larger fish. The toxin gradually becomes concentrated in tissues such as its liver to harmful levels of 10,000-15,000 parts per billion. This may reduce the animal’s fertility and make it more susceptible to disease.

 

Seabirds Suffer too

Like marine mammals, seabirds are at the top of marine food chains, so they are susceptible to biomagnifying toxins. When these build up in the bodies of seabirds, they can reduce fertility and also interfere with the process of eggshell formation. This causes eggs to be laid that have thinner shells than normal, and can lead to the birds crushing their eggs instead of incubating them. This is known to have caused major population declines in some species, including pelicans.

 

 

Source:

Bite-size Science by Robert Dinwiddie worked over 30 years as a science writer, editor and educator in edia of books and publishing. Holding an MA degree in Naural Scence from the University of Cambridge and MSc in Oceanograpy from the University of Southampton.

Wikipedia

Illustrated by: Margie Babon

 

 

Thunderclouds and Lightning

Written and Illustrated By: Margie Babon

 

Mostly all forms of lightning come from large thunderclouds that act like a giant electrical generators. These thunderclouds are affected by strong, turbulent internal winds which hurl around crystals, smashing them together in countless collisions that create static electricity. This turns the thundercloud into something like a huge battery with positive charges at the top and negative charges at the bottom. When thunderclouds terminate on the ground, it is called Cloud to Ground (CG) lightning. A lightning is an electrical discharged between the atmosphere and earth bound. A lightning may also be initiated from a very tall grounded object and reach into the clouds.

 

a thundercloud

 

static electricity

 

Trees are frequent conductors of lightning ground, natural lightning conductors that protect damage to nearby building. When trees are damaged by lightning, some may not be able to recover and decay while some overgrow the damaged area but the vertical scar is visible.

Trees are filled with moisture the reason why it attracts lightning. Lightning strikes depending on the tree height, variety and soil condition.

One of the tallest trees is oak which is the most vulnerable and has very high moisture content same as pine trees. In the Philippines and other tropical countries, lightning strikes usually at the coconut tree.

 

The process of Cloud to Ground (CG) lightning:

Scene 1_Lightning

The positive charged called hard ice crystals are partially frozen water while the icy water are called negative charged. When the electrons of the thundercloud transfer and collide to the partially frozen water which is in the base of the clouds and passes overhead, the cloud induces positive charge on the ground which is called Cloud-to-Ground lightning.

 

 

Scene 2_Lightning

When the electrons leak down toward the ground, positive charges climb up tall objects like trees to meet the step leader. The step leader is a pencil-thin ionized channel where electrons move down causing electrical separation charge in the air.

 

 

Scene 3_Lightning

As positive charges meet the step leader, a massive downward movement of electrons and a powerful electrical discharge descend to the nearest ground.

 

 

Scene 4_Lightning

The lightning bolts called positively lightning can occur in rapid succession in the same channel because of the positive charges at the top of the cloud while other electrons are being discharged from the base of the clouds causing significant charge between cloud and ground.

 

How far is the lightning bolt?

The sound of thunder travels about 1,100 feet per second as the lightning bolt travels at the speed of light. Illustrated below how to calculate the distance in miles.

 

how far is the thunderstorm

 

 

A lightning bolt travels through air at 80,000mph.

The electrical current in a lightning bolt can be as much as 200,000 amps.

Cloud-to-ground lightning heats the surrounding air to more than 54,000 deg. Fahrenheit, five times hotter than the surface of the sun.

 

 

Source:

Bite-Size Science by Robert Dinwiddie

Wikipedia

 

 

About 

Margie Babon has given a privilege to be a wildlife photographer in 2006 that let her choose to become a vegetarian for seven years now. With background in film making as a producer and researcher on the plight of Agta-Dumagat documentary film Children of the Mountains that garnered the Mark Haslam Awardee in 2005 in Toronto, Canada. Sharing her passion in drawing & creative writing  is a great opportunity to express her wisdom  which is far beyond teaching career for more than five years in College of Architecture and School of Fine Arts in Manila.

 

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