WHAT ARE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?
Many people ask us, “What are the Northern Lights”. Since most of the world does not have the same opportunity to see them as we in the north do, the Northern Lights are a very mysterious thing to them.
Here’s one place that Bro. Branham described the Northern Lights:
56-0101 WHY.ARE.PEOPLE.SO.TOSSED.ABOUT JEFFERSONVILLE.IN
8-4 …. Follow the compass, and the Compass is the Holy Spirit. The magnetic pole of the north holds that compass exactly north. Isn’t it wonderful that the electronics of the air…
9-2 I was standing near the North Pole, here a few years ago, and you hear, see those Northern Lights sweeping; and the yellow and green flashes in the dark midnight would make it as light as it is in this room to walk by. I thought, way down yonder in Central America, anywhere, that compass will point right straight to that magnetic pole. It’ll guide you north every time. And how glorious that is that we’ve got a magnetic system in glory; and every man that has been made a compass to guide through this life, or point towards Jesus Christ, just as certain as we’re setting in the church today.
The scientific explanation is quite complicated, but here is a fairly simple explanation that gives the basic information about the Northern Lights:
“Northern Lights” is the common name for what is known scientifically as the “aurora borealis”.
An “aurora” is a light display most commonly seen in the night skies in the northernmost or southernmost parts of the earth. These “auroras” occur in the ionosphere, which is found across the upper three portions of our atmosphere from an altitude of about 50 km to 1,000 km (or 30 miles to 600 miles). The ionosphere is a “shell” of electrons and electrically charged atoms and molecules that owes its existence to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
The auroras are most visible between 60 and 72 degrees north and south latitudes. In the southern hemisphere these latitudes are south of the southern tips of South America, Africa and Australia. Because of that, the southern auroras (known as “aurora australis”) are not seen by very many people. In the northern hemisphere these latitudes cross Canada, Alaska, Russia and the Scandinavian countries which are home to quite a few people – so the northern auroras, known as the “aurora borealis” are much more widely seen and familiar to people.
In Canada, the 60 degree latitude is the northern border of Saskatchewan and thus it is only a few hundred miles north of our family camp’s location. While we are not in the very best zone for seeing the “Northern Lights”, we are close enough that we do have the privilege of seeing them very frequently.
The light display is caused by the collision of charged solar wind particles from the sun directed by the earth’s magnetic field into the ionosphere. The chance of seeing the “Northern Lights” increases the closer you are to the magnetic north pole (not the physical north pole). Additionally, the “Northern Lights” occur most often around the spring and fall equinoxes – or the first day of spring and autumn. Since they are associated with the solar wind, auroras are more frequent and brighter during the intense phase of the solar cycle when “coronal mass ejections” from the sun increase the intensity of the solar wind.
As solar wind particles are funneled down and accelerated along earth’s magnetic field lines they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms. This collision causes the atoms to be “ionized” or “excited” and photons are then emitted by these atoms. This process is what causes the different colors. Oxygen and nitrogen behave differently and produce the different colors according to the density of these atoms in the atmosphere. As they get lower in the atmosphere the density of the atmosphere increases, but the released photons tend to be absorbed by other molecules and thus the Northern Lights stop forming. The higher part of the atmosphere will produce most of the Northern Lights that we see.
The most common color of the auroras is green, followed by pink, then a mixture of light green and red, pure red, yellow, and lastly pure blue.
Typically the aurora will look like a “glow” in the sky or as “curtains” that extend from the east to the west. Sometimes they will form “quiet arcs”, but during an “active aura” they will evolve and change dramatically – literally “dancing” across the skies. On rare occasions, especially when it is very cold, it has been reported that you can hear crackling sounds coming from the Northern Lights.
Here are three links you can go to if you want more information:
| Wikipedia: Aurora (astronomy) | Northern Lights Centre |
Here is a time-lapse video of the Northern Lights in action:
There is one other place that Bro. Branham mentions the Northern Lights, and we thought you might enjoy seeing that as well. The story is a familiar one about the time the Lord had him stop in a grove of old dead trees, but in this telling of the story he mentions the Northern Lights:
54-0829 I.WILL.RESTORE.SAITH.THE.LORD NEW.YORK.NY
E-51 Here, not long ago, when Brother Baxter and I, that’s here now, with us: we was up in Canada. (I, thinking of this, right here.) I’d been out that day, wandering around. And I been chasing an old bear. And the old fellow, he got away from me. And I was, well, eleven hundred miles, I guess, or something, I’d say, at least seven hundred miles, or more, from a hard-top road. Oh, we was way up in British Columbia, way up in the big mountains, way back, two or three days back, with pack horses.
And I had been up there after some goats on the mountain, and I’d run into an old bear, and I started chasing him. I got kind of lost from the rest of the brethren. And I rode around there a little while, and it kind of got towards dark. And I thought, “Well, which way did I come in, here?” There’s no roads, there’s no nothing.
So I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll have to build me up a fire.” And I stopped, and I waited a little while, I thought, “No, them Northern Lights will probably produce enough light that I won’t fall through a crevice somewhere. I’ll make my way back, ’cause I can see. I come from the North, coming South; I got to go back, North.”
E-52 So I was going along there and I come into an old forest. Looked like it was going to rain, great big, old, white clouds going over, and the moon was shining. And when I stopped there… And that was the spookiest looking place I ever seen in my life. Them great big, old, white, tall trees, just as bleak and bare as they could be, and that moon shining down on them: it looked like a graveyard.
And I stopped. Seemed like the Holy Ghost said, “Get off that horse.” And I tied him up to a little limb there, and I got off. And I thought, “Lord, what’d You stop me in this graveyard for?” I looked around there, and them great big, old trees standing there. There’d been an old burn-over years ago, many, many years, forty, fifty years ago; the fire had swept through there, by some unknown reason, and it burned all the bark off the trees. And they were standing there, great pines, maybe three foot thick at the bottom. And then I noticed the wind got to blowing. And every time the wind would blow, they’d go, “Ooooh.”
I thought, “Oh, my. Hmm.” I looked, that moon was shining, big, old, white, blistered trees. I thought, “What? It looks like a graveyard. This is a spooky place.” And the wind blowed again, it went, “Ooooh.” I thought, “Oh, what’d You bring me here for, Lord? What are You wanting to show me?”
Then the Holy Spirit begin to reveal this to me: “Do you know, one time they were big trees? Why can’t they move now?”
I thought, “Lord, that’s exactly what Joel said: ‘What the palmerworm left, the caterpiller eaten; what the caterpiller left, the cankerworm eaten.'” I thought, “That’s right, Lord. That’s exactly! That’s the churches of the day: They stand with great big, towering spires, great big names on it; some great big church. But what the Methodists left, the Baptists eaten; what the Baptists left, the Presbyterians eaten; what the Presbyterians left, the Lutherans eaten. And the first thing you know, they got stripped down, to there is nothing but a great big, old tombstone standing there.” That’s exactly right.
And I thought, “Well, what’s that wind blowing for?” And I said, “Lord, that’s right! You send the wind from Heaven, that rushing mighty wind, like fell on the day of Pentecost. And when it strikes them old churches, the only thing it can go, is go, ‘Ooooh, the days of miracles is past. Ooooh, there’s no such a thing as Divine healing. Ooooh, stay away from them people.'” That’s just the way it does. And I thought, “Sure, they were trees, one time: but they are dead.”
E-53 When Luther had a revival, he had a revival; and when Wesley had a revival, he had a revival; and both of them had signs and wonders. But the time, and the cankerworms, and the palmerworms, and the ethics, and so forth, of the church has eaten out all the life-giving source out of the church. They’ve took away miracles.
You Methodists here, that don’t believe in Divine healing (Why, I got Wesley’s textbook, myself.): When he was here in America, he was riding a horse, to pray for a woman, and the horse fell and broke its leg. He got off, and took his anointing oil, and anointed the horse with oil, and rode it away. Hallelujah! That’s when the church was moving.
But what happened? The parasites got into the church. Another new generation had come along, and said, “There’s no such a thing as Divine healing. We better stop that nonsense, all these here things, of all this shouting and going on; we better culture the church.”
Brother, the Holy Ghost is what leads the church. That’s right. Take That out of it, and you take the Life out of it. It’ll quit growing. That’s right. And when God sends the Holy Ghost down, like He did on the day of Pentecost, the mighty rushing wind: the only thing the church does, is moan and groan and say, “There’s no such a thing.”
Why can’t you bend? Because you’re dead. That’s exactly. Why? She ain’t got no life in it. You just stand there and the wind blows right against you.
And you–you say, “Signs appearing in newspapers: ‘This man coming out on the street, he was a cripple last night: he’s walking today. Last night there was a blind woman on the platform: she’s seeing today.'”
The church, one big fellow at their church: “Oh, that’s mental telepathy. The days of miracles is past.” And the Holy Ghost sweeping right over them.
E-54 I thought, “O God, is there hope?”
“Joel said, ‘I will restore, saith the Lord.'”
I thought, “Well, why would You ever restore?”
And again, the winds blew real hard. And I looked down here, and coming up, from under all them big, old, dead trees, here comes a new undergrowth. (What they call, “backwash.”) A bunch of new trees was coming up, little bitty trees, and they were green. Oh, every time the wind hit them, they were flexible. They were full of life, they could rejoice.
I said, “Hallelujah! There it is, Lord, an old fashioned Holy Ghost meeting is on the road. You’ve got some undergrowth coming up.”
“I will restore, saith the Lord.” Hallelujah! “I will restore, saith the Lord.”
“You wouldn’t send that wind.” I thought, “What’s the little trees blowing for?” That’s… Wind hit them, and they just flew with the wind, every way the wind twisted them, backward, forward, around, upside down, they didn’t care, they just frolic with the wind. And that’s the way a church that’s born again, when the Holy Ghost hits them, they just cut all kinds of shines. Hallelujah! “Why is it?”
God said, “I will restore, saith the Lord. The days that the caterpiller has left, the things that they had eat down, I will restore.”
I said, “Well, they’re green, O Lord, but they’re green enough to know how to give in to the wind.” And I thought, “What does the wind blow them for?” It only loosens them up to make another big root, so the root can grow down, loosens the ground, so that the little tree can dig down deeper, and get a better hold. And every time the Holy Ghost blows through, sends a great revival of signs and wonders, it only establishes the human heart in Christ Jesus. There you are, friends. There you are.
E-55 I’m not condemning other churches; I’m not condemning the people of other churches. I’m condemning that cold, ritualistic, formal things that drags the souls of people to hell, and they don’t know it: “Having a form of godliness and denying the power thereof.”