An international team of scientists, using data from the Mission Cluster mission, created the first recording of a sea "track" made by Earth when hit by sunny weather.
The song comes from waves created in the magnetic field of the Earth with the storm's collision. The storm itself is an eruption of electrically charged particles from the solar atmosphere. The sun constantly sends currents of green particles, but the Earth's magnetic field prevents these particles from entering our atmosphere. However, explosions on the surface of the sun can send a huge cloud of particles and radiation into space. If these solar storms are directed to Earth, when they hit they can disrupt our satellite systems, cause widespread degradation, and affect GPS systems.
To create the footage, the team analyzed two decades of data from the Cluster Mission mission, four spacecraft orbiting the Earth in the 2001 formation, investigating the magnetic environment of our planet and its interaction with the solar wind.
As part of their orbits, the spacecraft Cluster constantly flies through what is called prediction, the first region that particles meet when the solar storm hits our planet. The team discovered that in the early part of the mission, from 2001 to 2005, the spacecraft flew through six such collisions, recording the waves that were created.
New analysis shows that, during a collision, the predictor emits magnetic waves that are much more complex than previously thought.
When the frequencies of these magnetic waves are converted into sound signals, they create a psychedelic song that is more reminiscent of sound effects from a science fiction film than from a natural phenomenon.
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In quiet times, when no sunshine hits the Earth, the song is lower on the ground and more complex. But when a solar storm is hit, the frequency of the wave is approximately double, depending on the strength of the magnetic field in the storm.
University of Helsinki Astrophysicist Lucile Turk is the lead author of the study, published on 18.11.2019 in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters. She said in a statement:
It seems that the storm is changing the front adjustment.
Researchers say that not only does the frequency of the wave change, but it also becomes more complicated than the single frequency of quiet times. As soon as the storm hits the front impact, the wave breaks down into a complex network with different, higher frequencies. According to the research statement:
Changes in the front have the power to influence the way the solar storm propagates on the surface of the earth. Although the question of exactly how this process works remains to be seen, it is clear that the energy generated by the waves in the front cannot escape back into space, as the waves move to Earth as the sun arrives.
However, before they reach our atmosphere, the waves come across another barrier called bow shock, it is the magnetic region of space that slows down the solar particles of the wind before they collide with the Earth's magnetic field. The collision of magnetic waves modifies the behavior of the elbow shock, possibly altering the way it processes the energy of incoming solar storms.
Behind the elbow shock, Earth's magnetic fields begin to resonate with the frequency of the waves, and this contributes to the transmission of magnetic disturbance all the way to the ground. It's a quick process, taking about 10 minutes from the wave generated in front of its energy reaching the ground.
Bottom line: Listen to a lightning song on Earth that is hit by a magnetic storm.
Source: First observations of earthquake wave disruption in Earth during magnetic clouds