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Northern Lights Go Dim By Ian Wilson & Anders Bogan The Article Title: Northern Lights Go Dim By: AFP When: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 Who: Those who study at the north pole, and those who live near the aurora borealis What: Aurora Borealis (northern lights) dimming from past cycles Why: This ties in with impact in outer space and the universe Where: Last half of this decade How: Ionosphere and magnetosphere affected in this; solar winds may also be weaker; environmental global issues This article talked about the aurora borealis, which is becoming more and more rare and also dimmer, and were only available during the second half of this decade. Background Information In the article, the author discussed about the northern lights, or the aurora borealis, and its rare occurrence over the last decade, and how it has also become more dim. The northern lights, which are a blaze of colors and patterns in the sky, occur when solar winds crash against the atmosphere and then are drawn to magnetic poles. The reactions of the solar winds crashing against the atmosphere create havoc among electrons in the atmosphere known as the ionosphere and the magnetosphere. Scientists say that this phenomenon may have a correlation with less activity in the sun. The aurora borealis often follow an 11 year cycle in which the phenomena reach to a maximum and then go back down to a minimum, and then the cycle repeats. Scientists also say that solar flares and sun sports are also quieting down, and the cycle of maximum and minimum may also be affected while the cycle is occuring. Bias/ Impact This article is not biased, and does not have any opinions or statements that lead to one side or theory. The author(s) write in such a way that provides an open minded opinion and a description that multiple sides of the story would all agree on. The impact of this article is international. However, it may just be involving the north side of the world, because the northern lights of course come from the north pole. This may also affect the south side of the world/ the rest of the world because it can hint activities in the sun, and gives hints to what’s going on in the rest of the universe. Further Decision Influence Because of the information in this article, this may link to environmental harm in the world. If the sun activity or universe activity is affected and this correlates with global warming or environmental neglect, then worldwide actions may be taken and the policies we have currently may be affected, and that protecting the environment would be a more important decision than before. How it’s related to science This article is related to science in many ways. First, it’s related because it has to do with the atmosphere and reactions with electrons. The ionosphere and magnetosphere previously mentioned have to do with the environment and how the world functions. Second, this article is related to science because it involves the north pole, and there are scientists that study and observe the north pole, and this is a big concern for those studying at the north pole. The northern lights may also have a correlation of something that may happen to the north pole in the future. This is how the article is related to science.
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