As you may have heard, this week scientists have confirmed that aurora borealis, that display of wild color that mysteriously lights up the sky in places around the Earth, has a voice.
Ordinarily, these ‘solar melodies, which resonate inside the Earth’s magnetic shield, have frequencies too low for the human ear to hear. But using a process called Audification, NASA scientists have converted these ‘songs’ into tracks we can now hear.
The result is a symphony of pulsating sound: https://www.itv.com/news/2023-05-10/listen-to-the-never-heard-before-solar-song-of-the-northern-lights.
And these sounds forever demolish the idea that outer space is an empty, silent vacuum.
To understand why this peculiar light and sound show occurs, you need to know some things about the Earth’s magnetic shield.
The Earth is essentially a giant magnet, with its North and South poles, the two poles of the magnet, surrounded by a donut-shaped magnetic field.
This ambient geomagnetic field, or magnetosphere, is in constant flux, affected by the weather, any geological changes on Earth, even the wobble of the Earth in its daily rotation, but most particularly by extreme changes of weather in space, largely caused by the ferocious activity of the sun.
The benign star responsible for all life on Earth is essentially a cluster of unimaginably hot hydrogen and helium the size of approximately one million Earths crossed with a layer of unstable magnetic fields.
Not surprisingly, this volatile combination results in periodic volcano-style eruptions, propelling gas into space as vortices of concentrated fields – the dark blobs on the sun’s surface that we call ‘sunspots’ – pull apart and reconnect in new arrangements.
Despite this potentially anarchic combination, the sun carries out this activity according to a fairly predictable timetable; regular solar cycles consist of eleven years, during which time, sunspots build up, discharge and begin to wane.
During the waxing stage, as sunspots accumulate, so the sun begins to hurl its gaseous explosions our way: solar flares, electrified, bullet-like high–energy protons, corona mass ejections — a billion ton’s worth of gas and magnetic fields with the force of billions of atomic bombs, all made airborne and aimed toward Earth through the electrified gas of the solar wind, traveling some five million miles per hour.
This activity causes extreme geomagnetic storms in space, which, during moments of intense solar activity, create a powerful effect on the Earth’s magnetic field.
During any given eleven-year solar cycle, we can expect to experience two years’ worth of geomagnetic storms severe enough to disrupt portions of the Earth’s electrical power, interrupt high-tech communications systems, and disorient spacecraft and satellite navigation systems.
Up until recently, scientists discounted the idea that the Earth’s faint magnetic field (a thousand times weaker than a standard high school horseshoe magnet) had any effect on basic biological processes, particularly as all living things on Earth are now exposed to much stronger electromagnetic and geomagnetic fields every moment of our modern technologically dependent lives.
Nevertheless, the latest discoveries have unveiled that living things have a small window through which subtle geomagnetic and electromagnetic fields, such as those generated by the Earth, rather than the artificial kind generated by technology, have the most profound effect upon all cellular processes in living things.
Changes in this faint charge, particularly those of extremely low frequencies (less than 100 Hz), profoundly influence virtually all biological processes in living things — particularly the two major engines of the body, the heart and the brain.
In a way we humans are simply one more satellite system prone to being destabilized or even blown off course by an electrical storm in space.
Magnetic fields arise from the flow of electrons and atoms with charge, which are known as ions. When magnetic forces change direction, as they often do on the surface of the sun, they shift the direction of the flow of atoms and particles. All living things--including us humans--are made of the same basic material, and any change of magnetic force will alter our own internal atomic and subatomic flow.
The Earth’s magnetic activity appears most directly to affect our cell membranes and calcium-ion channels, which are vital for regulating enzyme systems within the cell. In particular, the Earth’s geomagnetic field appears to target the sympathetic nerves (those originating from the chest and lower-back parts of the spinal cord), including the “fight-or-flight” response.
Of all the systems in the body, changes in solar geomagnetic conditions most profoundly disturb the activity of the heart. In susceptible people, geomagnetic storms can bring on a heart attack. Healthy hearts have a great degree of variation in heart rate, but a good deal of geomagnetic activity decreases heart rate variability, which in turn increases the risk of all coronary artery disease and heart attack.
Besides the effects on the heart, the sun has a profound effect on the other electrical center of the body: the brain and nervous system. Scientists in the firner Soviet bloc discovered that even in healthy volunteers, electrical activity in the brain gets highly destabilized during magnetically stormy days.
Solar activity also corrupts the very signaling within the nervous system, so that some parts overactivate and others fail to fire.
When the sun explodes, so, in a sense, do we. Geomagnetic activity in space upsets our energetic equilibrium, profoundly affecting our mental stability.
During a magnetic storm, those with mental challenges get even more so. The higher the geomagnetic activity, the greater the increases in general psychiatric disorders, the greater the number of patients hospitalized for nervous conditions and the greater the number of attempted suicides.
The solar orchestra during Northern Lights has to do with these charged particles resonating inside our geomagnetic shield. So consider it an early warning system.
Now that we can hear it, it reminds us that we are part of an intergalactic superorganism, and we and every other living things resonate in every way with the cosmos.
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