A VOYAGE IN SPACE
long arms out and gradually drew the poor boat to its greedy maw. The pictures taken by Mr. St. John show us something of this kind. You see the sunspot, which is the centre of the whirlpool, about the middle of each picture, and near the bottom is an object which in Fig. 68 resembles a fish. At first this object is peacefully at rest, there being little change between May 29 and June 2, though the tail of the fish has turned towards the vortex: on June 3 this turning rapidly develops within a few minutes: it becomes clear that the fish is caught by its tail, and in Fig. 69 we see him being swallowed. Next day there is no trace of him (Fig. 70).
These actual proofs that a spot is a magnetic vortex are quite recent; but for a long time we have suspected some kind of magnetism in the Sun; indeed, it has been much more than a suspicion. Our magnets on the Earth are disturbed in a regular manner which corresponds closely to the ups and downs of sunspots; that was noticed half a century ago. But instead of calling your attention to these more or less regular changes, I will show you how beautifully Mr. Maunder proved that magnetic "storms" on Earth originate in some way in the Sun. These "storms" are quite irregular (like our storms in the weather), we should never notice them in ordinary life, but a telegraph clerk finds them a great nuisance; if they are violent and persistent they may make it impossible for him to send or receive his messages. At the time when Carrington and Hodgson noticed that great disturbance on the Sun, of which I spoke early in this