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As humans, our color vision influences everything from our art and poetry to the colors we paint our homes and the clothing we choose to buy.
We perceive color when the different wavelengths composing white light are selectively interfered with by matter (absorbed, reflected, refracted, scattered, or diffracted) on their way to our eyes, or when a non-white distribution of light has been emitted.
Visible light is merely a small part of the full electromagnetic spectrum, which extends from cosmic rays at the highest energies down through the middle range (gamma rays, X- rays, the ultraviolet, the visible, the infrared, and radio waves) all the way to induction-heating and electric-power-transmission frequencies at the lowest energies.
The visible light that humans perceive is a tiny fraction of the full electromagnetic spectrum. We can detect the range of light spectrum from about 400 nanometers (violet) to about 700 nanometers (red).
People at high northern latitudes sometimes experience an ethereal display of colored lights shimmering across the night sky – the aurora borealis or northern lights. Those who live at or visit high latitudes might at times experience colored lights shimmering across the night sky.
When the charged particles from the sun strike atoms and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, they excite those atoms, causing them to light up.
What happens in an aurora is similar to what happens in the neon lights we see on many business signs.
When charged particles from the sun strike air molecules in Earth's magnetic field, they cause those molecules' atoms to become excited. The aurora often appears as curtains of lights, but they can also be arcs or spirals, often following lines of force in Earth’s magnetic field. Jennifer Khordi captured this aurora on September 7, 2015 over the Catskills of New York state.
Click here to find about two great biological mysteries of our time: the magnetic sense and psychiatric disorders.
The Eartha€™s magnetic field, or geomagnetic field, is most familiar to people as the force that causes a compass needle to point north. Since the 1960a€™s, various experiments have been performed that demonstrate the magnetic nature of some animals' orientational ability.
Wolfgang and Roswitha Wiltschko, pictured here, are pioneers in the study of animal magnetoreception.
Still, the fact that our natural orientational abilities are weak doesna€™t imply that we have no magnetoreceptive abilities.
While there has been some progress in the last few decades, we understand very little of the physiological and behavioral basis of magnetoreception. Now leta€™s turn to the second mystery, psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
One obstacle to understanding psychiatric disorders is that we dona€™t have a good animal model. These two mysteries, which represent disconnects between the animal and human worlds, contradict the leitmotif of modern biology. In September 2007, I began a research project that I hope will lead to a solution to these two mysteries. Since my college years, I have suffered from a combination of obsessive-compulsive disorder (also known as OCD), tics, and mild chronic depression. Although I have bachelora€™s degrees in physics and psychology, Ia€™m not a professional scientist. Notice how there are more plus signs and a deeper shade of red the further south I move from home.
To feel the strong symptoms, I have to look directly at the sky (not the sun, but anywhere else in the sky).
This isna€™t a seizure, isna€™t a reaction be being shocked, and isna€™t a reaction to any special forces or substances underneath the ground or in the area. In July 2009, while vacationing in Utah, I brought two of my friends along with me to the peak.
While it's typical to distinguish between north-south and east-west bed orientations, I found that psychologically they have similar effects. My Psychological Magnetic Map shifts north or south a certain distance every day, which I call a€?Bed Angle Drift". This image shows approximately north-south or east-west bed angles (colored pink), and approximately 45 degree angles (colored gray). My peak shifts north when Ia€™m phase advanced, and south when Ia€™m phase delayed (relative to solar day). Until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the 1700a€™s, with a few exceptions the only magnetic fields that humans were exposed to were natural ones. I slept in a spare bedroom in my house, because all the other rooms had steel structure underneath the floor. Note that I'm more sensitive to artificial magnetic fields in North Carolina than I am in more northern places. Some other people with psychiatric disorders probably have magnetoreceptive ability similar to mine.
My research project involved studying only myself, so I have very little data about other people. Magnetoreceptive humans have such poor sensitivity that most of them arena€™t aware that their feelings are navigational tools.
The scientifically-inclined reader can learn more about my magnetoreceptive abilities by reading my research paper. Disclaimera€”Information in this site is not an attempt to diagnose or treat any kind of mental or physical illness.
Yet, we rarely question the mechanics of our color perception – or what we may not be able to see. Note that this is the energy per quantum (photon if in the visible range) but not the total energy; the latter is a function of the intensity in a beam. We perceive this range of light wavelengths as a smoothly varying rainbow of colors, otherwise known as the visual spectrum.
Electricity is used to excite the atoms in the neon gas within the glass tubes of a neon sign. He said, “We were just about to leave as the Aurora was just a dull band, then it came alive for about an hour or so. Ita€™s a question that is still unanswered, although the scientific consensus is that we dona€™t have such an ability. We could perceive the magnetic field, but not be able to utilize this information to orient ourselves.
Ita€™s hard to understand whata€™s going on in an animala€™s mind when it decides to move in a particular direction. We dona€™t know the biophysical mechanism, or even where the magnetic sense organs are located. With all the research that has been done, and all the drugs that are available, we really dona€™t understand whata€™s going on with these disorders.


While we can assume that a listless, apathetic animal is depressed, and a tentative, fearful animal is anxious, the connection between these basic animal responses and human psychiatric disorders is tenuous. It's difficult to accept that animals can have an entire sensory apparatus that humans dona€™t have.
This research project involved the study of how my feelings and symptoms varied as I traveled from one place to another.
I began to realize that I felt differently in different places, differences that defied an easy explanation. This internal GPS is limited in function; it doesna€™t provide much navigational information, so I call it a limited-functionality GPS. My Negative Zone and Positive Zone extend north and south, theoretically to the north pole and equator, respectively.
Ia€™ve only found my magnetic home near Raleigh and Goldsboro; the rest is a projection based on my data. I feel depressed mood when north of home, tics when south of home, and a happy feeling when at home. I feel nothing when looking at reflected sunlight on the ground, or looking at the sky through a window. The woman with bipolar disorder said that she a€?rapid cycleda€? when looking directly at the sky. Light sensitivity doesna€™t explain the fact that I feel depressed mood when north of home, tics when south of home, and a happy feeling in magnetic home. Notice how therea€™s a line separating the blue (negative) zone from the yellow (happy) zone. My peak could be tens of kilometers north the next day, and hundreds of kilometers north the next week.
I grew up in northern New Jersey, and went to college at University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
By a€?sleeping factorsa€? I mean factors associated with my sleeping behavior and environment.
Like with Feng Shui, it's a way for me to alter my environment in order to improve my mood. 45 degree (or northeast-southwest and northwest-southeast) orientations have different psychological effects. Note that for a north-south orientation the head of the bed could be either north or south. Note that for a northeast-southwest orientation the head of the bed could be either northeast or southwest.
To perform a reset, you change your bed orientation from a pink color angle to a gray color angle, or vice versa. All the effects Ia€™ve spoken about previously, including bed angle effects, the peak, and circadian rhythm effects, are my response to the natural environment. In the past several centuries, humans have created numerous devices, machines, and structures that emit magnetic fields. I know that Ia€™m sensitive to these fields when sleeping because they disrupt my sleep, causing shaking and tics.
I did this because I wanted to have complete control of my electromagnetic environment when sleeping. This unit was far enough from my bedroom that I didn't sense the magnetic fields coming from it.
At little cost and effort, and with relatively few side effects, magnetoreceptive people can make changes that may help them feel better. One reason that I created this website is to try to get magnetoreceptive people to come forward to share their personal stories. Based on what youa€™ve learned so far, would you agree that humans dona€™t possess the magnetic sense, and animals dona€™t experience psychiatric disorders? This information should not be utilized as a substitute for care by a licensed medical practitioner.
Hood in Oregon as captured by Ben Coffman Photography during the night of May 31-June 1, 2013.
There is much greater involuntary exposure now, and it is nearly unavoidablea€”even for those who choose not to go wireless. If we walk in the north direction indicated by the compass, we walk toward the magnetic north pole. Tyson Platt defined magnetoreception as a€?an ability to detect magnetic fields and behave based on that information.a€? The second part of the definition is critical in distinguishing magnetoreception from more general effects of magnetic fields. Ita€™s clear that we dona€™t have anything approaching the natural orientational abilities of migratory birds or homing pigeons.
Or we could subconsciously use the magnetic field for orientation, a process that occurs outside our awareness. Since animals cana€™t tell us what they perceive, we dona€™t know how a magnetic perception looks or feels to them.
My tools consisted of a car, a handheld GPS, a magnetic compass, an air mattress, and a computer with an Internet connection. Remember that this location is unique for me; other peoplea€™s Happy Zone will almost certainly be elsewhere.
This is the Negative-Happy transition, what I term a€?my peak.a€? Therea€™s also a line separating the yellow (happy) zone from the red (positive) zone. The most important factor is the compass angle at which my bed is oriented, which I call a€?bed anglea€?.
While measuring bed angle and rotating my bed are not as easy as taking a pill, I avoid side effects. These changes resulting from varying bed angle are difficult to explain other than by hypothesizing that human magnetoreception exists. I havena€™t tested this longer than a week, but Bed Angle Drift does appear to accumulate over time, as long as there isna€™t any change in bed angle. One rhythm that is commonly measured is the melatonin rhythm, which helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
This includes the geomagnetic field and probably other natural environmental factors (such as sunlight).
Their symptoms guide them north or south of home, but they haven't yet connected their symptoms to their navigational function.
For example, magnetoreceptive depressed people attribute their mood to negative life events. Anyone who is taking prescribed medication, or advised to take medication, should follow their doctor's advice regarding their medication. Cell phone users, parents-to-be, young children and pregnant women are at particular risk.Health Issues Linked to EMF ExposureThere is more evidence in this updated report that electromagnetic radiation damages DNA, interferes with DNA repair, and creates greater toxicity in the genes. Scientists have learned that in most instances northern and southern auroras are mirror-like images that occur at the same time, with similar shapes and colours. Auroral displays can appear in many vivid colours, although green is the most common.


Research has shown that these birds navigate in part by perceiving the Eartha€™s magnetic field. For an animal to have magnetoreception, it must act differently based on the information in the magnetic field. Since humans are weak natural navigators, we have to construct devices to help us navigate.
We dona€™t migrate long distances when the seasons change (unless wea€™re retired and wealthy). For example, since humans can see, we know what a visual perception looks like, and we can infer that animals see a tree, house, or blue sky roughly the same as we do. To estimate magnetic fields, I used the magnetic model calculator, which is available to the public on the web.
My guess is that both of them were in the Positive Zone at the time they looked at the sky. After sleeping a few nights at this bed angle, I rotate the bed a predetermined amount and then sleep a few nights at the new bed angle.
There are also bed angles in which Bed Angle Drift is either large in the south direction, or large in the north direction. What physical factor other than the bodya€™s response to the Eartha€™s magnetic field would be altered as one rotates onea€™s bed? At stable bed angles, my mood is better, I feel more stable, and my immune system even works better (I tend to get fewer colds and other ailments).
These birds have much greater sensitivity than humans, as dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. While most depressed people are in fact depressed due to negative life events, this isna€™t the case for a minority of depressed people. No guarantees are made that performing any steps suggested on this site will make one feel better.
It also cites studies showing pathological leakage of the blood-brain barrier and altered immune function.
Therea€™s an error, known as declination, which varies at different locations and over long periods of time. All angles near 45 degrees in North Carolina have large Bed Angle Drift in the north direction. When it shifts from its ideal location (whether due to circadian rhythm, or bed angle drift effects) I feel bad.
In recent years, with the introduction of wireless networks and devices, wea€™ve become more and more exposed to these fields.
For these people, depressed mood is in fact a navigational tool, directing them south, toward magnetic home. Based on magnetic information, animals acquire a sense of their position relative to a goal. Since some members of every major group of vertebrates have been shown to have the magnetic sense, including mammals, ita€™s reasonable to assume that humans may have this sense. This greater sensitivity, along with their internal compass, allows them to navigate based on their magnetic sense.
Also increased is the incidence of acoustic neuroma with the use of mobile & cordless phones.
Since there are animal models for human diseases like heart disease and cancer, ita€™s reasonable to assume that there are animal models for psychiatric disorders. I think that their reaction was secondary to my peak reaction, but nevertheless it was intense for them. For some people, anxiety is a navigational tool, directing them north, toward magnetic home.
Due to an intense psychological reaction, driving near and through the peak can be dangerous. The most common aurora colour which is green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. Specifically, I wanted to find out if these different feelings were in any way connected to my perception of the geomagnetic field. The correlation between wireless technology and the conditions of hyperactivity, learning difficulties, and behavior problems has been seen in both animal and human studies.EMF ProtectionFortunately, all this doesna€™t mean that you have to give up your cell phone in order to protect your health.
And you dona€™t even have to limit your calls, get a headset, or watch how close to your body you keep your cell phone when youa€™re not using it. In terms of auroras, we need quite a lot of charged particles colliding with earth’s atmosphere to create vivid displays, so this usually requires quite a large opening, such as a coronal hole, or a sunspot. As the magnetic south pole is in Antarctica, unless your a scientist working there, it usually leaves the northern hemisphere the most sensible option of viewing aurora. It should be mentioned however that during strong solar storms, aurora australis are quite often visible in places south from Australia. But generally speaking, the best places to watch the aurora are usually are North America or Europe.In North America, the north western parts of Canada, particularly the Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Alaska are favourable. In Europe, Scandinavia, particularly the Lapland areas of Norway, Sweden and Finland is very good for aurora viewing. Iceland is also a good place for auroras and Auroral displays can also be seen over the southern tip of Greenland.In terms of what physically makes a place good to view aurora aside from the proximity to the magnetic poles. The further away from the north pole you are, generally speaking the lower on the horizon the aurora will be. Of course this depends on a lot of factors such as aurora strength (Kp level).Those are really the main points to successful aurora viewing, if you get them all right, then you should be in for a good show.
Auroras are not visible through most types clouds.The following graphic shows what strength Kp is needed to view aurora where you are. It has a solar minimum period and a solar maximum period, it is the solar maximum period when it is at it’s most active. The next peak period aka solar max is late 2013.Winter in the north is generally a good season to view lights. The long periods of darkness and the frequency of clear nights provide many good opportunities to watch the auroral displays. Usually the best time of night (on clear nights) to watch for auroral displays is between 10pm to 2am.
I am a computer programmer and aurora watcher, so I combined both to create this site to help my Northern Lights forecasting and viewing. The site has kept growing and now it is a great resource for Aurora chasers all over the world.Aurora ServiceYou are currently on the European site.
Providing northern lights forecasts for Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and others.But did you know we also provide aurora information to 3 different continents?



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