Here's What Happens When a Solar Storm Slams Into the Earth

21 Novembre, 2019, 01:43 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • ESA           Solar Storm

As part of their orbits, the Cluster spacecraft repeatedly fly through the foreshock, which is the first region that particles encounter when a solar storm hits our planet.

Scientists have recorded the sound of the magnetic field of the Earth during storms on the Sun. The new findings were published today in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The team used computer simulations to reveal the the intricate wave patterns that emerge during solar storms.

During the vessels' flybys on Earth, they would oftentimes go through the foreshocks produced by solar storms.

The ESA's Cluster mission - made up of four spacecrafts which orbit Earth in formation to study the planet's magnetic activity - recorded the spooky sounds.

"We always expected a change in frequency but not the level of complexity in the wave", she added. Earth is protected from this by its magnetic field, preventing these particles from entering our atmosphere.

When the frequency of these magnetic waves are converted into audible signals, they give rise to a unusual song.

How earth's magnetic fields react to cosmic Solar Storm? Instead, the waves produced can not escape into space and are pushed down towards Earth.

The recording was made possible thanks to the ESA's Cluster II mission probes -a formation of four craft in elliptical orbit around our planet which have been engaged in magnetospheric research for almost two decades now, and to researchers back on Earth. When there are no solar particles to contend with, these magnetic waves oscillate on a single frequency and so would convert into a very different, mellower 'song'.

"The foreshock is home to intense electromagnetic waves, and disturbances in this region can perturb the Earth's magnetosphere".

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The "sounds" featured in the clip were generated in 2003 and 2005, as the Cluster II probes captured the moment solar particles hit Earth's magnetic field during the bout of space weather.

They made the discovery while analysing data from the Cluster Science Archive.

The team now hopes to work out how the waves are generated.

Solar storms are a a part of location climate.

The solar and its ambiance are manufactured from plasma - a combination of positively and negatively charged particles which maintain separated at extremely high temperatures, that both carries and travels along magnetic field lines. Whereas the solar wind is regularly blowing, explosive releases of vitality shut to the Solar's floor generate turbulence and gusts that finally give rise to solar storms.

The research team used data compiled from the Cluster spacecraft mission's nearly two decades in space.

Due to the potentially damaging effects solar storms can have on sensitive electronics and technology on ground and in space, understanding space weather has become increasingly important to society.

For Philippe Escoubet, the project scientist for Cluster, the recording shows offers a glimpse of the wealth of information that the mission can provide.

'The results take us deeper into the details of fundamental magnetic interactions that take place across the universe'.

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