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DTU has turned SWARM signals turned into sound – scary listening!

You can listen to the sound yourself this week in Copenhagen! The sound of the rumble of Earth’s magnetic field is broadcasted on 24–30 October three times a day at around 08:00, 13:00 and 19:00 from loudspeakers at Solbjerg Square in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Anne Birgitte Klitgaard
Tlf.: +45 72 31 82 42
Email: ak@ufm.dk

Despite being essential to life on Earth, the magnetic field isn’t something we can actually see in itself, or ever hear. But scientists at the Technical University of Denmark have taken magnetic signals measured by ESA’s Swarm satellites and converted them into sound – and it sounds pretty scary!

Earth’s magnetic field is a complex and dynamic bubble that keeps us safe from cosmic radiation and charged particles carried by powerful winds flowing from the Sun. When these particles collide with atoms and molecules – mainly oxygen and nitrogen – in the upper atmosphere, some of the energy in the collisions is transformed into the green-blue light that is typical of the aurora borealis, which can sometimes be seen from high-northern latitudes.

Musician and project supporter Klaus Nielsen, from the Technical University of Denmark, explains: “We gained access to a very interesting sound system consisting of over 30 loudspeakers dug into the ground at the Solbjerg Square in Copenhagen. Throughout this week, visitors will be able to hear the amazing rumble of our magnetic field – so if you are in Copenhagen come along and check out this unique opportunity".

“The rumbling of Earth’s magnetic field is accompanied by a representation of a geomagnetic storm that resulted from a solar flare on 3 November 2011, and indeed it sounds pretty scary.”

Senest opdateret 28. november 2022