In space, no one can hear you screaming because the sound cannot travel through a void. But if we convert electromagnetic activity into sound, it suddenly becomes a very noisy place. And our world is no exception; Specifically, in and around the magnetic field produced by the molten core of the Earth.
This barrier, called the magnetosphere, is thought to be one of the vital elements of a life-supporting planet that protects us from the harsh radiation of the solar wind. The stronger the wind, the louder the magnetosphere sings.
As charged particles from the solar wind current into the magnetosphere, some are reflected back into the Sun from the shock zone in front of the magnetic field. This “bounce” then interacts with the still flowing solar wind, causing imbalances in the plasma and creating magnetoacoustic waves.
Scientists around the world then turn these magnetoacoustic waves into sound – strange sounds and whistles – to understand the dynamics of the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere.
Now, for the first time, the song of Earth and the Sun was recorded during a solar storm when the sun and wind blew heavily and blown violently into space.
The four Earth orbital spacecraft gathered collectively as the Cluster mission of the European Space Agency sampled the first six solar storms from the water wind – the region above the Earth's spring shock, the region where the solar wind first opposed the Earth's magnetosphere. .
The sound files of these electromagnetic waves show that the waves in the magnetosphere created by a solar storm are much more complex than previously thought.
"Our study reveals that solar storms have profoundly changed the descent zone," said Lucile Turc, a physicist at the University of Helsinki in Finland, who led an international research team. Said. “It's like changing the storm pipe.”
As you will hear in the video below, the magnetosphere is never silent. Particles and radiation always flow from the Sun, which releases a certain amount of calm solar air.
During a solar storm – when a large magnetic explosion occurs on the surface of the Sun, it sends charged particles (and if it hits the Earth, it usually produces really beautiful auras) – things become more striking.
In normal calm weather, the magnetosphere generates low frequency waves dominated by a single frequency. During a solar storm, the pressure of the solar wind, which forces the frequency of the waves, increases much more. In addition, some of these high frequency waves are superimposed on a complex network rather than just a dominant frequency.
"We've always expected a change in frequency, but we don't expect the level of complexity in the wave," Turc said.
The spring shock between the magnetosphere and the front shoe is an additional barrier between the waves and the Earth, but we know that the waves do not return to the Sun – there is a lot of pressure due to the solar wind.
On the contrary, these changes to the front shoe extend to the surface of the Earth within minutes; or trigger rapid jets that cause geomagnetic disturbances in the magnetosol, which may affect communication and navigation equipment and electrical systems.
Turc and his team are now trying to understand how these complex wave superpositions are produced.
Research published Geophysical Research Letters.