Wednesday, February 6, 2013

This is what a solar flare sounds like

You`ve probably seen footage of solar flares but ever wonder what one sounds like? Well you can`t actually hear them but you can listen to their effects on radio waves here on Earth.

From Discover magazine with an interview with Thomas Ashcraft who compiled this recording:

We are hearing a solar Type III radio burst that was generated by a solar flare as recorded at 28 MHz and 21 MHz. Although the flare was relatively small, this particular radio burst was quite strong. Type III solar radio emissions are produced by electrons accelerated to high energies by solar flares. As the electrons stream outward from the sun, they excite plasma oscillations in the sun’s atmosphere. The plasma oscillations in turn generate radio emissions that sweep out into space.

On one stereo channel there was a voice transmission in progress, likely a ham radio operator, and as the solar radio wave passed through the voice gets thoroughly overpowered and then returns as the blast passes through. Type III solar bursts are also called “fast drift bursts” because they drift down in frequency. It is a little hard to hear in this recording but the burst actually hits one channel at 28 MHz first and then can be heard at 21 MHz a second later on the other stereo channel.  Listen close to hear this.

more here

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