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Tag Archives: Earth

Ludi Saeculares: the Transit of Venus

On June 5 (or June 6, depending on which time zone you are in) of 2012, Venus will be seen from the Earth passing over the disk of the Sun. This is not only a rare event, but also one which has been of great historical importance in figuring out how big the Solar System […]

polar lights [Q&A]

Sathwika of SDM PU College asks, what is the mechanism of the formation of aurora? Aurorae, aka polar lights, form when plasma from the solar wind gets funneled into the Earth’s atmosphere around the magnetic poles, and collide with Oxygen and Nitrogen atoms and ions in the upper atmosphere. The collision causes the electrons in […]

geomagnetism [Q&A]

Madhusoodan of Poornaprajna College asks, what causes the Earth to have a magnetic field? Typically, magnetic fields in astronomical objects are generated via a natural dynamo. Starting from a seed field which is embedded in the medium, the object first amplifies this field by wrapping it around via rotation, and then rearranges it via convection. […]

on the Moon’s orbit [Q&A]

I will write up here brief answers to many astronomy related questions that were asked by students. ┬áThe first one is by Vibha of Poornaprajna College, who asks why is it that the Moon is under the gravitational influence of only the Earth and why is it not affected by the Sun, and why doesn’t […]