Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
“It is in the United States, however, that the action of the aurora upon the telegraph wires was the most
remarkable. A fantastic aurora occurred in September of 1851. This took complete possession of all the
telegraph lines in New England and prevented any business from being transacted during its duration. The
following winter, on February 19, 1852, another aurora left its mark in history. On this date, the system of
telegraphing used upon the wires was Bain's chemical. No batteries were kept constantly upon the line, as in
the Morse and other magnetic systems. The main wire was connected directly with the chemically prepared
paper on the disc so that any atmospheric currents were recorded with the greatest accuracy. The usual battery
current, decomposing the salts in the paper and uniting with the iron point of the pen-wire, left a light blue
mark onthe white paper.Or,if the current were strong, a dark blue mark would be left onthe paper.The color
of the mark depended upon the quantity of the current upon the wire.”
The following is an actual account from the journal of an electric telegrapher:
Thursday, February 19, 1852
“Towards evening, a heavy blue line appeared upon the paper, which gradually increased in size for the space
thicknesses of the moistened paper. The current then subsided as gradually as it had come on, until it entirely
ceased, and was then succeeded by a negative current (which bleaches, instead of coloring, the paper). This
gradually increased, in the same manner as the positive current, until it also, in turn, produced its flame of
fire, and burned through many thicknesses of the prepared paper; it then subsided, again to be followed by
the positive current. This state of things continued during the entire evening, and effectually prevented any
business being done over the wires.”
While I haven't yet found any studies that show a correlation between arctic crop yields and
Aurora Borealis, I think that if any studies were performed, they would be beneficial for
testing the Lemström's hypotheses. It would then be exciting to show cold-climate farmers
that the Earth naturally boosts crop production to make up for very short growing seasons.
Telluric Electricity
In roughly the same time period that experiments with atmospheric electricity began,
another discovery was made: the Earth (i.e. the ground) itself is electrically active!
In the early 1860s, scientists around the world were experimenting with earth-based
electrical systems in the form of “Earth batteries” . In 1862, one scientist 10 from the Munich
Alps performed an experiment that revealed to the world that natural electric fields exist
within the Earth!
In this experiment, two metal plates were placed, some distance apart, into the ground along
the Earth's magnetic or astronomical meridians, i.e. North-South lines. They were then
connected together using some wire along with a sensitive voltmeter or ammeter. What was
observed was the presence of natural forms of electricity that were generally stronger in the
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