Is it possible to hear the Northern Lights ?
October 5, 2021 | 5 comments
Not just a pretty light show. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Carsten Frenzl
For years, there have been reports of eerie, mysterious sounds being produced by the aurora borealis.
The spectacular light show - which can often be seen flickering across the skies of the northern hemisphere - has fascinated mankind since the dawn of time.
Its colorful swirls and patterns are produced when charged particles from the sun accelerate along the field lines of Earth's magnetic field and interact with the gas atoms in its atmosphere.
But while the appearance of this phenomenon is well documented, there are some who claim that the aurora borealis can also produce strange, otherworldly sounds on rare occasions.
Reports from the early 20th Century describe these sounds as an 'almost imperceptible crackling, whooshing or whizzing' that occurrs during particularly intense displays.
Inhabitants of Scotland's Shetland Isles have also described them as being similar to 'rustling silk.'
While such accounts were often dismissed, in more recent years the phenomenon has come to be accepted as the real deal - with researchers having heard and even recorded examples on occasion.
The assistant of leading auroral scientist Carl Stormer, for instance, reported the sound as being like a "very curious faint whistling sound, distinctly undulatory, which seemed to follow exactly the vibrations of the aurora."
While many scientists have attempted to find an explanation for the sounds, to date the specific cause of the phenomenon continues to remain something of a mystery.
Source: Live Science
| Comments (5)