A Different Sort of Dawn Chorus

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The spectacular light displays known as the aurora, caused by the interactions of charged particles from the solar wind and the Earth’s naturally occurring magnetic field.

These charged particles are trapped by the Earth’s magnetic field and funneled towards the North and South Poles where they interact with the molecules in the atmosphere —producing the unearthly beauty of the auroras seen at high northern and low southern latitudes, with different colors being caused by different molecules.

These light shows have actually their own musical accompaniment, known as the auroral dawn chorus; the interacting charged particles and magnetic fields produce naturally occurring radio waves that can be detected with very low frequency radio receivers and converted to sound waves.

 

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