Frequency (2000)

Concept featured in clip:Aurora Borealis/Australis, Earth's Magnetic Field

Location of clip: DVD: 0:10:25 - 0:11:18

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: The scene opens up with a shot of the night sky demonstrating the Aurora Borealis. Various shots throughout the film show this phenomenon. At the end of this scene, it shows the Northern Lights again, and in the background we hear Dennis Quaid's character talking on his ham radio, saying that he's picking up signals that he never could before due to the Northern Lights.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This clip illustrates an exceptionally bright Auroral display (perhaps that is why it is seen in the lower latitudes).

Suggestions to teachers:

1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

A teacher can explore how the following contribute to the auroras:

a. How is the earth similar to a bar magnet?

b. What/Where is the magnetosphere?

c. What is the solar wind?

d. How do magnetic fields affect moving charged particles?

e. What are the Van Allen belts? What happens when the Van Allen belts are "overloaded?"

f. What are solar flares?

2. During an exceptionally bright auroral display, how can the following be affected:

a. Radio transmissions
b. Communication satellites
c. Transmisssion lines

3. Future Research

a. Are such events predictable? Explain.
b. Why are auroras more common at the poles?
c. When was the last major event?
d. Investigate the origins of the earth's magnetic field.