NASA Discovers Origin Of Whistling Sounds In Space

Posted: Nov 19 2017, 2:44am CST | by , Updated: Nov 19 2017, 2:52am CST, in News | Latest Science News

NASA Tracks the Origin of Whistling Sounds in Space
An illustration of charged particles, trapped by Earth’s magnetic field. Credit: Tony Phillips/NASA

The new observations confirm that whistling sound are linked to sudden bursts of electrons in the magnetosphere

We cannot see them, but swarms of high-energy particles actually exist around our plant. These particles are created by fluctuating electric and magnetic fields and act unlike anything we experience on Earth.

When these solar-energized particles penetrate into the magnetosphere or magnetic environment around the Earth, they can disrupt satellite communications and even trigger beautiful auroras. These events also led to whistling sounds that — with the right tools — we can hear across space. Yet no one knows exactly what is responsible for hurling these energetic electrons into the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Recently, two NASA spacecrafts were at just the right places at the right time to witness the event.

Using data from two satellites, researchers have found that a common plasma wave in space is likely responsible for the rhythmic cacophony. These waves, known as whistler mode chorus, are capable of pushing some electrons to accelerated speeds. Thus, they can control the balance of highly energetic particles injected and lost from in the near-Earth environment.

“Observing the detailed chain of events between chorus waves and electrons requires a conjunction between two or more satellites,” said lead researcher Aaron Breneman from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “There are certain things you can’t learn by having only one satellite — you need simultaneous observations at different locations.”

The new evidence comes from an analysis that combines data from two satellites NASA’s Van Allen Probes mission and FIREBIRD II CubeSat. FIREBIRD II Cruises at a height of 310 miles above Earth, while one of the two Van Allen Probes travel in a wide orbit high above the planet. With different vantage points, these satellites were able to observe the cause and effect of the loss of these high-energy electrons in a remarkable detail.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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