It's my birthday tomorrow! The big 21. I am actually pretty unhappy about getting older, I have to admit, and have not really been looking forward to my birthday. However, my amazing aunty gave me some money to buy this dress for my 21st, so things aren't all that bad ;)
This pastel purple sweater was such a good find (yep, another one from the op shop that's just a stroll from my house. That store is totally going to empty my bank account...) and I've also been into wearing kitsch badges as brooches lately, after my friend found all these awesome 90s badges for me (like my Peter Pan and Science Museum ones). This hedgehog one is still pretty kitsch, but also suits the pastel colours of my outfit.
sweater - Thrifted
blouse - Forever 21
shorts - c/o Sheinside
boots - Asos (similar)
See how my shorts have got lightening bolts on them? Well that's convenient, because today I'm going to talk about a new idea of what causes lightning strikes!
Running against the most accepted idea for what causes lightning - collisions between ice crystals in clouds and hail stones - a new scientific paper released the other day suggests that it's actually cosmic rays, from far off in the universe, that cause lighting strikes.
So we know what lightning is - an electrostatic discharge between clouds and the surface of the Earth (like a 1000x bigger version of taking off a static-y jumper and zapping yourself), but are not entirely sure what causes the build up of electricity in the clouds to occur.
Firstly what are cosmic rays? They are streams of high energy particles travelling through space nearly at the speed of light, which come from far away in the galaxy, probably from supernova explosions (when massive stars explode and die).
And how can cosmic rays cause lighting? Well, these high energy particles get inside our atmosphere and become ionised (they lose or gain electrons). This leads to a lot of free electrons floating around. When these collide with water atoms in clouds, more electrons are released, which sets off an "avalanche" of high-energy particles that builds up until it discharges into the Earth (read more here).
So firstly, I had no idea that we weren't sure what caused lightning. And now it's even more uncertain. It's really cool that we are still investigating the cause of something that seems as everyday as a lightning storm, when we can also make computers and flying cars (yes really) and print organs from machines, and although it can sometimes seem like we are living in the future, we still have so much to learn.
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