Hear the eerie sounds of a solar storm hitting Earth’s magnetic field

Put the horror movies and games aside for a few minutes to hear something truly haunting this Halloween season. The has posted an audio of what our planet’s magnetic field sounds like. While it shields us from cosmic radiation and charged particles from solar winds, it turns out the magnetic field packs a puzzling roar.

You can’t point a microphone exactly at the sky and hear the magnetic field (nor can we see it). Scientists from the Technical University of Denmark picked up by ESA’s three Swarm satellites in sound, representing both the magnetic field and a solar storm.

The ethereal audio reminds me of wooden wind chimes rattling when a land mass shifts, perhaps during an earthquake. It also recalls the creaks of a moving glacier. You might get something different from the five-minute clip.

“The team used data from ESA’s Swarm satellites, as well as other sources, and used these magnetic signals to manipulate and control a sonic representation of the central field. The project has certainly been a rewarding exercise in bridging art and science,” said Klaus Nielsen, a musician at the university and a supporter of the project. “The rumble of the Earth’s magnetic field is accompanied by a depiction of a geomagnetic storm that It resulted from a solar flare on November 3, 2011, and actually sounds pretty scary.”

If you visit Solbjerg Square in Copenhagen this week, you might be able to soak in the low rumble of the magnetic field. More than 30 speakers point to the ground there. They will broadcast the audio three times a day until October 30. “We’ve set it up so that each speaker represents a different location on Earth and demonstrates how our magnetic field has fluctuated over the last 100,000 years,” Nielsen said.

This is not the first time that researchers have turned data from silent forces into sound. Last year, NASA looked at the magnetic field activity around Ganymede, Jupiter’s moon. More recently, we heard a terrifying description of what a black hole sounds like.

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