ScienceCasts: The Sound of Earthsong

[ music ] The Sound of Earthsong — Presented by [email protected] In space, they say, no one can hear you scream. Nobody ever said anything about singing, though. A NASA spacecraft has just beamed back a beautiful song sung by our own planet. ‘It’s called chorus,’ explains Craig Kletzing of the University of Iowa. ‘This is one of the clearest examples we’ve ever heard.’ [ SHORT AUDIO SNIPPET ] Chorus is an electromagnetic phenomenon caused by plasma waves in Earth’s radiation belts. For years, ham radio operators on Earth have been listening to them from afar. Now, NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes are traveling through the region of space where chorus actually comes from — and the recordings are out of this world. [ LONGER AUDIO SNIPPET ] ‘This is what the radiation belts would sound like to a human being if we had radio antennas for ears,’ says Kletzing, whose team at the University of Iowa built the ‘EMFISIS’ (Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science) receiver used to pick up the signals. He’s careful to point out that these are not acoustic waves of the kind that travel through the air of our planet. Chorus is made of radio waves that oscillate at acoustic frequencies, between 0 and 10 kHz. The long antennas of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes are perfect for detecting these kinds of waves. ‘Chorus emissions are front and center for the Storm Probe mission,’ says Kletzing. ‘They are thought to be one of the most important waves for energizing the electrons that make up the outer radiation belt.’ In particular, chorus might be responsible for so-called ‘killer electrons,’ high-energy particles that can endanger both satellites and astronauts. Most electrons in the radiation belts are harmless, with too little energy to do damage to human or electronic systems. But, sometimes, these electrons can catch a chorus wave -like a surfer rising a wave on Earth- and gain enough energy to become dangerous. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes are on a mission to find out for sure. ‘The production of killer electrons is a matter of much debate, and chorus waves are only one possibility,’ notes the Storm Probes’ mission scientist Dave Sibeck. Launched in August 2012, the two probes are orbiting inside the radiation belts, sampling electromagnetic fields, counting the number of energetic particles, and listening to plasma waves of many frequencies. ‘We hope to gather enough data to solve the mystery once and for all,’ says Sibeck. At the moment, the spacecraft are still undergoing their 60-day checkout phase before the main mission begins. So far, things are checking out very well. ‘One of things we noticed right away is how clear the chorus sounds in the recording,’ notes Kletzing. ‘That’s because our data is sampled at 16 bits, the same as a CD, which has not been done before in the radiation belts. This makes the data very high quality and shows that our instrument is very, very healthy.’ Eventually, Kletzing hopes to release unprecedented stereo recordings of Earth’s chorus. ‘We have two spacecraft with two receivers,’ he says, ‘so a stereo recording is possible.’ Such a recording would not only sound wonderful, but also have real scientific value. ‘One of the things we don’t know is how broad the region is over which chorus occurs. The widely-separated ‘stereo capability’ of the Storm Probes will give us the ability to figure this out,’ he explains. With a two-year mission planned for the Storm Probes, the Earthsong is just getting started. For more weird and wonderful sounds from space, stay tuned to

100 Replies to “ScienceCasts: The Sound of Earthsong”

  1. The Catholic Church with a wrong leadership. They killed most of the Bible translators and any Bible readers but treated scientists REALLY nicely.

  2. And you do realize that there is at least one museum here dedicated to slavery that enlightens any visitors to the current slavery situations in the world, right? Like the girls who are snatched and sold into sex slavery?

  3. That's a crock of crap, many scientists were put to death for expressing any beliefs that opposed the Bible, like the fact that the Sun does not in fact revolve around the Earth.

  4. Variations within the same species happen and are observed, but species never cross the boundaries and it is never observed. That's what it means.

  5. Human domestication of animals is a directly observed macro evolution. The dog you are familiar with today came from an wolves that were friendlier towards humans than most. Any sort of vegetable that you eat is no longer the species that it came from, and that is not only observed, but directly caused by man himself. Evolution takes place right in front of us and you're too ignorant to see it. The world is constantly changing.

  6. We are in a dire situation. The world has more than 30 million slaves ( a record number) and more than 200 million child workers. Christians are working to free them, as always.

  7. No, no scientist was killed by the Church. You are imagining things up. Atheists killed educated, bright people everywhere they were.

  8. I support missionary work. But I would like to politely mention that it is not just Christians who do humanitarian work. There is a stark difference between and atheist and a communist, and you don't seem to realize that.

  9. There would be no fucking food for your stupid ass to eat without domestication! Without domestication, there would be no grain for the all important Christians to send to starving countries! Damn you are IDIOTIC in some of your arguments!

  10. But Christians started it and sustain it largely. The Church is the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave or stay forever with the suffering people. Atheists have no charity but just random destructions. Stop imagining and do serious study. And we don't need your pollution efforts. Good-bye.

  11. There aren't words for your idiocy. Domestication started before Christ was even born. Good bye, fare thee well in the world. Try not to start too many fist fights.

  12. PS: Domestication is no macro evolution. But your various arrogant experiments are defiling the Earth and speeding up the dooms of a scorching planet. Be humble before the Creator God. That's what you lack. Humility as a creature and use of clean language.

  13. + Was the earth flat? no. You see? I respect that you have your belief and that you need a "inner compass" sometimes, everyone does. But believing in that stuff doesn't make any sense, like walking on water, spliting and ocean in two etc etc. And can you explain why it is "smarter" than us, we have once again proof and what does you book have? text from a drunk man from several years ago where the text has been changed several times.

  14. Inanimate object's don't have intelligence … which is also something in common among those who follow it.

    Ps. If life has taught us anything it is that the only thing constant is change. The book suffers from knowledge deterioration and the several thousand year gap leaves even more room to perceive it incorrectly.

    (Nice video, by the way!)

  16. If the world is ending then why not go to Mars! Why fix the oceans if its all going to end? I am an atheist so I don't think this will happen. But I do agree with you that, unfortunately, the people of America are falling apart. Bad health, crime. Personally, I am not that proud to be an American. But could I leave the US and but still have NASA? I don't know. As soon as I am old enough and have enough money, well, "Hello Toronto!"

  17. happy flipping burger's,you have to be positive about everything,whether you like it or not,saying its dumb really means your asleep at the positive,knowledge is power.

  18. You don't. We have the most realistic book about you; it says all you've got is intentional imaginations against all known laws of science.

  19. It's your ancient Greek philosopher saying stuff. Our Book says the Earth has a form of circle and hunging in space. (Book of Job)

  20. Scientific theories change all the time but the Bible has been proven to be invincibly true each passing year, unlike you. You guys are altogether unscientific and deceptive that you discuss stuff you've never read or observed or studied.

  21. I will stop arguing with you. You are impossible to speak with since you won't believe in whats true and still live in the past. There are things science can't explain, but seriously? a god that created everything? yea yea. well, have fun living with those who stopped the evolution and the progress of science during several hundred years. Bye

  22. beautiful. add to that, the man-made rf, other earth atmosperic, NIR, IR spectra, etc – we almost have a fingerprint. this is how earth must appear to any alien radio astronomers out there, listening, … i wonder if wny other civilisation has discovered us yet?

  23. Stop arguing over nonsense. Whether you think god made this or not, it's beautiful, enjoy it! Here i was hoping to find some insightful comments about what we just watched…

  24. So, wouldn't it be plausible to take this recording and build some type of equipment to detect the same sound from possible 'Like' planets that we could fly to and settle on?!

  25. Scientific discoveries reject the theory of evolution. You atheists are ruining the planet with your evil backward experiments.

  26. Sorry, nowhere is safe. It's all too late. Just repent of your godlessness since you've been living in Someone else's planet without gratitude.

  27. Unlike you lazy copiers and forever-dependants of the British and the Americans, we sweat and work hard on our own and we admit the benefit of the Americans.

  28. Wait what? Scientific discoveries has done nothing but prove the theory of evolution. And you say we are going backwards with our experiment, with more dumb people like you believing in myths we would still be in the middle ages. And a proof for evolution, have you heard about goosebumps and the wisdomteeth? Less and less people are developing wisedomteeth due to what we eat (evelution. You can Google that if you want to… Then come with a GOOD argument that proofs that your religion is right.

  29. I didn't mean "religion trolls" to specifically mean the religious. I meant the people who always have to argue about religion. And it usually does happen in a video that has some sort of science in it.

  30. Actually evolution as even being an hypothesis and was disproved in 1888. The American society for the Advancemnt of science has had an agenda to promote this theory in schools ever since. You cannot use a theory presupposing life to explain life. Yet, atheists love Darwin who used mother earth or she where god people use God. So who is the dumb person who has been brainwashed with evolutionary lies?

  31. Uh, what?

    Evolution is the idea of change over time.

    There are two premises that underpin evolution:


    1. More organisms are born than can survive.
    2. No two creatures are identical.

    If creatures are different from one another, then they will have different traits. Some of these traits will tend to be adaptive. Since not all beings that are born can survive, the next generation will tend to have a higher frequency of the adaptive traits than the generation before it.

    That's all.

  32. just a suggestion. even though i hate advertisements, it would be great if you guys start putting advertisements on and use the money made in to more space programs.

  33. Well, I think that most people who read your text will think that you mean exactly that IDEA of god which they have in their mind – which isn't true.
    People like to project everything other people say on their own ideas. That means that they don't understand other people.

    The great intelligence which is responsible for life is beyond imagination. People who can't imagine this have a very limited perception. Namaste 😉

  34. Science and Religion are sometimes one in the same. It just takes someone who can bring them together ,break the code so to speak. There are clues to be found in both the Bible and in Science. By comparison of the two we can find answers…kinda like a journal of words meets realty.

  35. Actually, similar waves have already been detected from Jupiter by the Galileo probe, but we wouldn't want to live there!

  36. Lots of them (ground-based) at auroralchorus(dot)com
    Several years ago, I built a VLF (Very Low Frequency) receiver to pick up these sounds, best heard near Solar Maximum, since they are caused by the interaction of the Solar Wind and the earth's magnetosphere

  37. They probably have and are trying to communicate to us. But maybe we can't hear them due to the incompatibility of our commuication systems.

  38. The bible is more than thousands of years old but it always has recent changes. for short, the bible you are reading now is not the same as the original. For so long it was edited again and again to control the minds of people to make the population of christianity grow, even till now. It may have worked a long time ago, but humanity is growing up and it must get rid of it's old toys for any chance of the formation of the Human Civilization, the first true civilization.

  39. Science and Religion have many various languages and glossaries with so many more definitions and
    etymologies of their languages; translating between the two languages and meanings helps to build bridges between the teachings. Thank you for sharing the beautiful music.

  40. We all have our own code-our own signal and our own magnetism. Our spiritual wavelength that is separate from all the other signals. Our spiritual unification with that which is of the infinity of that which is known and unknown. What of the fabric of space and time on that electrical spark that exists in us? Without our spark and signal in this time we do not exist but what about the fabric of space and time? We do exist there yesterday and we will go there to tomorrow.  I will become that peace of rest and harmony in Gods hands as he lifts me upwards to our home of glory. In my heart I believe it to be so. Yes the possibilities are endless like the universal language of math,numbers,codes,songs and signals. Yes we do indeed exist if not in this time but in another.

  41. sounds like frogs and crickets in a swamp to me  🙂 it's make sense, there sensitive to the planet. 

  42. so if the device would fly through a special place over the earth, could it hear a radio song ? i don't know, so i hope, someone can explain it to me like for dummies… more or less ^^

  43. My theory on capturing electrons and converting them into usable power and we already have the technology to capture ions and use them as a renewable energy source,

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