Our quiet Sun produces “Musical Waves” in Earth’s Magnetic Field

The magnetic field of Earth can “sing” musical notes

By Dr. Tony Philips

This week in Norway, a space weather observatory detected sine waves of exceptional purity rippling through Earth’s polar magnetic field. The waves, which persisted for hours with nearly perfect pitch, have been linked to “tearing instabilities” and explosions in Earth’s magnetic tail–not to mention bright auroras in Arctic skies.

When a stream of solar wind hits Earth, magnetometers around the Arctic Circle normally go haywire, their needles swinging chaotically as local magnetic fields react to the buffeting of the solar wind. On Nov. 18th, however, something quite different happened. Solar wind hit Earth and produced … a pure, almost-musical sine wave:

Rob Stammes recorded the event from the Polarlightcenter, a magnetic observatory in the Lofoten Islands of Norway. “A very stable ~15 second magnetic oscillation commenced and persisted for several hours,” he says. “The magnetic field was swinging back and forth by 0.06 degrees, peak to peak, with the regularity of a metronome.”

Imagine blowing across a piece of paper, making it flutter with your breath. The solar wind can have a similar effect on magnetic fields. The waves Stammes recorded are essentially flutters propagating down the flanks of Earth’s magnetosphere excited by the breath of the sun. Researchers call them “pulsations continuous” — or “Pc” for short.

More here at spaceweather

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27 thoughts on “Our quiet Sun produces “Musical Waves” in Earth’s Magnetic Field

  1. Geophysical phenomena during an ionospheric modi®cation experiment
    at Tromsù, Norway
    N. F. Blagoveshchenskaya1
    , V. A. Kornienko1
    , A. V. Petlenko1
    , A. Brekke2
    , M. T. Rietveld3
    1 Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), 199397, St. Petersburg, Russia
    2 Auroral Observatory, University of Tromsù, N-9037, Tromsù, and The University Courses of Svalbard, Svalbard, Norway
    3EISCAT, N-9027 Ramfjùrdbotn, Norway
    Received: 13 October 1997 / Revised: 11 May 1998 / Accepted: 26 May 1998

    Abstract. We present an analysis of phenomena observed
    by HF distance-diagnostic tools located in St.
    Petersburg combined with multi-instrument observation
    at Tromsù in the HF modi®ed ionosphere during a
    magnetospheric substorm. The observed phenomena
    that occurred during the Tromsù heating experiment in
    the nightside auroral Es region of the ionosphere depend
    on the phase of substorm. The heating excited smallscale
    ®eld-aligned irregularities in the E region responsible
    for ®eld-aligned scattering of diagnostic HF waves.
    The equipment used in the experiment was sensitive to
    electron density irregularities with wavelengths 12±15 m
    across the geomagnetic ®eld lines. Analysis of the
    Doppler measurement data shows the appearance of
    quasiperiodic variations with a Doppler frequency shift,
    fd and periods about 100±120 s during the heating cycle
    coinciding in time with the ®rst substorm activation and
    initiation of the upward ®eld-aligned currents. A relationship
    between wave variations in fd and magnetic
    pulsations in the Y-component of the geomagnetic ®eld
    at Tromsù was detected. The analysis of the magnetic
    ®eld variations from the IMAGE magnetometer stations
    shows that ULF waves occurred, not only at Tromsù,
    but in the adjacent area bounded by geographical
    latitudes from 70.5° to 68° and longitudes from 16° to
    27°. It is suggested that the ULF observed can result
    from superposition of the natural and heater-induced
    ULF waves. During the substorm expansion a strong
    stimulated electromagnetic emission (SEE) at the third
    harmonic of the downshifted maximum frequency was
    found. It is believed that SEE is accompanied by
    excitation of the VLF waves penetrating into magnetosphere
    and stimulating the precipitation of the energetic
    electrons (10±40 keV) of about 1-min duration. This is
    due to a cyclotron resonant interaction of natural
    precipitating electrons (1±10 keV) with heater-induced
    whistler waves in the magnetosphere. It is reasonable to
    suppose that a new substorm activation, exactly above
    Tromsù, was closely connected with the heater-induced
    precipitation of energetic electrons.
    Key words. Ionosphere (active experiments;
    ionosphere ± magnetosphere interactions). Radio
    science (nonlinear phenomena).

    https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/file/index/docid/316449/filename/angeo-16-1212-1998.pdf

  2. hmm didnt haarp manage to heat a smallish plasma ball in the ionosphere some yrs ago…
    wonder if the mob at tromsu registered that?
    also curious as to what follow on effects it may have had, they never said much more on it, then the artic haarp was shut/reduced. last i read

  3. Obviously migrating birds will get sinus headaches and fail to navigate and die. Normally birds could fly home on memory but global warming have changed wind patterns and jet streams, making them more irregular an random so the birds no longer can navigate from memory. We did this.

    • “We did this.”

      We did what?

      Birds navigate using magnetic fields which they can see due to the inclusion of ferro-containing molecules.

      Are you suggesting we are causing the movement of the north magnetic pole, and caused it to split into two regions?

      As birds do not depend on the winds to “fly home” and they do not fly in the jet streams. It is not clear to me what you think “we did”. Please tell us.

      Thanks

        • It is impossible to mock the warmers by making stuff up and present it as irony. You cant do it anymore, they are too crazy. I made up a most ridiculous ad hoc catastrophic follow up on the post and people cant tell if it is real or satire.

          Oh, it was satire.

      • We did what? – good question.

        We no longer know what we did NOT.

        meine Schuld, meine Schuld, meine übergrosse Schuld –

        my guilt, my guilt, my overwhelming heavy metal guilt.

    • The folks at Weatherbell Analytics use analogous jet stream, ENSO, MJO and SST patterns from decades past to bring their customers more accurate long-range predictions. We are not seeing anything that hasn’t occurred before. The claim that Humans affect planetary temperatures is unproven and borders on religious dogma.

  4. Romantic, but we can hardly call it “music” if the oscillations are far too slow to be heard, even if converted from magnetic energy to electricity, then from electricity to vibratory motion. I think you’d have to speed this up more than 300x before it started to enter the low end of human hearing.

  5. Very likely due to the gentle-est of breezes as solar wind and magnetic disturbances go.
    Average Ap for 17 Nov 2018 was a minuscule 0.8 and the Solar wind speed range 277-339 km/s.
    Both of which are very low numbers. Probably as low as they can go.

    One can check these numbers at Jan Alvestad’s website for the last 30 days here:
    http://www.solen.info/solar/indices.html

    A similar set-up occurred on Oct 29th. All part of the approaching solar minimum. Essentially we are already there, it’s now just a matter of when SC25 decides to get going. My guess is not for another 12-18 months. But it could come this coming February 2019 according to SIDC projections that use their “CombineMethod” or the “McNish&Lincoln Method.”
    http://www.sidc.be/silso/ssngraphics
    The Kalman filter-optimized version of those two methods is even worse.
    Those two methods have had a horrible track record with under-estimation of SC24’s descent.

    The “Standard Curves method” has been a better predictor.
    http://www.sidc.be/silso/IMAGES/GRAPHICS/prediSC.png

    As such, SC24 will likely continue to bump along the bottom for probably another 12 months or more.

  6. Back in 1988 here in NZ we saw a majestic Aurora Australis in the shape of a rustling curtain. In place of curtain rings were bright points of light. When the curtain rustles would touch eachother at the top, those light points joined into momentary brighter sparkles — it did this in a regular motion. It extended over about as much sky as a large rainbow. It did this for 2 nights, haven’t seen it since.

          • Great links, thanks, I knew nothing about all that. My lady & I stood naked out on our deck at 1AM watching the show for an hour — although we were in plain view of neighbouring houses it wasn’t an issue — anybody up would be watching the show and not us. The next night was, if anything, even brighter, but we didn’t get up to it — regret that now. Oddly the local newspaper said nothing about it, only good for fishwrap even then.

          • You South Islanders are different breed for sure, in a good sort of way.

            Christchurch down to Dunedin is on my bucket list. One day.

          • NT Willy,

            “Oddly the local newspaper said nothing about it, only good for fishwrap even then.”

            Gracefully your local newspaper don’t wanted cause mass panics,

            since CAGW we know our

            considerate

            alarming scandalizing yellow press.

  7. Wow,
    super cool,
    next we will find a cosmic `gain` signal and then we really will be toast as the tail starts to whip the dog
    we`re all doomed

  8. This *is* incredible – Modern Science discovers Simple Harmonic Motion.

    Scary stuff indeed, at this rate and 2,000 years hence we might discover ‘The Pendulum’
    Seems we’re stuck with square wheels on our electric cars and bicycles for quite a bit longer than that.
    I iz breathless with excitement.

    Seriously, what might have been *REALLY* interesting would be a square-wave after its been through a differentiator (high pass filter).
    or integrator
    or a saw-tooth wave,
    or a pico-second pulse of nearly infinite magnitude
    or something/anything with even-order harmonics or or or or…..
    but not a sine-wave.

  9. Earth, magnetometers around the Arctic Circle normally go haywire, their needles swinging chaotically as the magnetic fields react to the buffeting of the solar wind.

    so with solar wind we have a real natural random generator.

  10. Imagine blowing across a piece of paper, making it flutter with your breath. The solar wind can have a similar effect on magnetic fields –

    for the given time of ‘steady solar wind’.

  11. ® –> fi :

    Geophysical phenomena during an ionospheric modification experiment
    at Tromsù, Norway
    N. F. Blagoveshchenskaya1
    , V. A. Kornienko1
    , A. V. Petlenko1
    , A. Brekke2
    , M. T. Rietveld3
    1 Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), 199397, St. Petersburg, Russia
    2 Auroral Observatory, University of Tromsù, N-9037, Tromsù, and The University Courses of Svalbard, Svalbard, Norway
    3EISCAT, N-9027 Ramfjùrdbotn, Norway
    Received: 13 October 1997 / Revised: 11 May 1998 / Accepted: 26 May 1998

    Abstract. We present an analysis of phenomena observed by HF distance-diagnostic tools located in St.Petersburg combined with multi-instrument observation
    at Tromsù in the HF modified ionosphere during a magnetospheric substorm. The observed phenomena that occurred during the Tromsù heating experiment in the nightside auroral region of the ionosphere depend on the phase of substorm. The heating excited smallscale field-aligned irregularities in the region responsible for field-aligned scattering of diagnostic HF waves.

    The equipment used in the experiment was sensitive to electron density irregularities with wavelengths 12±15 m across the geomagnetic field lines. Analysis of the Doppler measurement data shows the appearance of quasiperiodic variations with a Doppler frequency shift, [fd] and periods about 100±120 s during the heating cycle coinciding in time with the first substorm activation and initiation of the upward field-aligned currents.
    A relationship between wave variations in field and magnetic pulsations in the Y-component of the geomagnetic field at Tromsù was detected. The analysis of the magnetic field variations from the IMAGE magnetometer stations shows that ULF waves occurred, not only at Tromsù, but in the adjacent area bounded by geographical latitudes from 70.5° to 68° and longitudes from 16° to 27°. It is suggested that the ULF observed can result
    from superposition of the natural and heater-induced ULF waves. During the substorm expansion a strong stimulated electromagnetic emission (SEE) at the third harmonic of the downshifted maximum frequency was found. It is believed that SEE is accompanied by excitation of the VLF waves penetrating into magnetosphere and stimulating the precipitation of the energetic electrons (10±40 keV) of about 1-min duration. This is due to a cyclotron resonant interaction of natural precipitating electrons (1±10 keV) with heater-induced whistler waves in the magnetosphere.

    It is reasonable to suppose that a new substorm activation, exactly above Tromsù, was closely connected with the heater-induced
    precipitation of energetic electrons.

    Key words. Ionosphere (active experiments;
    ionosphere ± magnetosphere interactions). Radio
    science (nonlinear phenomena).

    / proof read please /

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