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Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Science |

NASA gets sound recordings of “The Song of the Earth”

A spacecraft managed to capture what the space agency called “The Song of the Earth” or “Chorus” as scientists prefer to say.

This choir that NASA attributed range song by our own planet, is an electromagnetic phenomenon caused by plasma waves in the radiation belts of the Earth, known as Van Allen. For many years, hams have been hearing these choirs but never with the sharpness of this record.

But now, thanks to two space probes loaded with a team called EMFISIS (Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science) built by the University of Iowa, has been listening to this choir recorded in the same place where it originates.

Craig Kletzing Iowa University explains: “This is what I hear choir a human located in the radiation belts of the Earth if instead of having ears antennas”. Kletzing clarifies that are not sound waves traveling through the air of our planet, but radio waves at acoustic frequencies ranging from 0 to 10 kHz and finding antennas EMFISIS magnetic coils are designed to detect such waves.

Something that draws attention to for years scientists are called “electron murderers,” high-energy particles that can endanger satellites and astronauts, which would have responsibility these waves captured in song. In general, explains Dave Sibeck, mission scientist responsible, most of the in the radiation belts are harmless and have very little power to do harm to human or electronic systems. But sometimes, these electrons can “ride a wave” like a surfer, and generate enough energy to endanger instruments or devices created by man.

“The murderers electron production is a subject of much debate, and chorus waves are only a possibility,” says Dave Sibeck.

Regarding the sound recording, Kletzing was surprised by the clarity of the recording and awarded the achievement of 16-bit sampling, “similar to a CD”, which was configured to capture the instrumental record, which also expect launch demonstrates stereo unreleased recordings of the choirs of the Earth (which probably will not receive any royalties …)

This development is only the beginning of a mission that will last two years and also seek to determine how wide is the region of belts and which areas have the highest concentration of “murderers electrons” that could harm satellites and astronauts.

Link: NASA Spacecraft records “Earthsong” (nasa.gov)

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