Polaris – that kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?
AURORA POLARIS (Aurora Borealis and Australis, Polar Light, Northern Lights), a natural phenomenon which occurs in many forms, some of great beauty.
Electricity is discussed in Electromagnetism, and these manifestations in nature in Atmospheric Electricity; Aurora Polaris and Terrestrial magnetism.
With the melting of the great ice-sheet the climate became milder, and the southern part of Sweden was covered with shrubs and plants now found only in the northern and alpine parts of the country (Salix polaris, Dryas octopetala, Betula nana, &c.).
Of Phanerogams, only the Dryas octopetala covers small areas of the debris, interspersed with isolated Cochlearia, &c., and, where a layer of thinner clay has been deposited in sheltered places, the surface is covered with saxifrages, &c.; and a carpet of mosses allows the arctic willow (Salix polaris) to develop. Where a thin sheet of humus, fertilized by lemmings, has accumulated, a few flowering plants appear, but even so their brilliant flowers spring direct from the soil, concealing the developed leaflets, while their horizontally spread roots grow out of proportion; only the Salix lanata rises to 7 or 8 in., sending out roots I in.
The conclusions which researches relating to it have so far reached are treated in the articles STAR; SUN; COMET; NEBULA; AURORA POLARIS, &C. (S.
And Reid has shown that during the glacial period the existing flora was replaced by an arctic one represented by such plants as Salix polaris, S.
At the close of the glacial period the alpine floras retreated to the mountains accompanied by an arctic contingent, though doubtless many species of the latter, such as Salix polaris, failed to establish themselves.
In 1680 Jean Picard, in his Voyage d'Uranibourg, stated, as a result of ten years' observations, that Polaris, or the Pole Star, exhibited variations in its position amounting to 40" annually; some astronomers endeavoured to explain this by parallax, but these attempts were futile, for the motion was at variance with that which parallax would occasion.
Davis, Polaris (Hall's) North Polar Expedition (Washington, 1876).