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NASA Listens in as Electrons Whistle While They Work

Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:54 pm

Space is not empty, nor is it silent. While technically a vacuum, space nonetheless contains energetic charged particles, governed by magnetic and electric fields, and it behaves unlike anything we experience on Earth. In regions laced with magnetic fields, such as the space environment surrounding our planet, particles are continually tossed to and fro by the motion of various electromagnetic waves known as plasma waves. These plasma waves, like the roaring ocean surf, create a rhythmic cacophony that — with the right tools — we can hear across space.

Just as waves roll across the ocean or storm fronts move through the atmosphere, disturbances in space, can cause waves. These waves occur as fluctuating electric and magnetic fields plow through clumps of ions and electrons that compose the plasma, pushing some to accelerated speeds. This interaction controls the balance of highly energetic particles injected and lost from in the near-Earth environment.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:56 pm

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Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith

Different types of plasma waves triggered by various mechanisms, occupy different regions of space around Earth.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:57 pm



Chorus Radio Waves within Earth's Atmosphere

 
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