When I heard the new NASA recordings of the “Chorus” of charged particles in the earth’s magnetosphere that I commented on in Tuesday’s program, I was immediately reminded of similar recordings made here on earth a few years back and transformed into the most wonderful piece of music.
It’s called “Sun Song,” and was put together by radio producer Barrett Golding for the program I worked for at the time, PRI’s Living on Earth.
Barrett was and is one of the great, old-school, truly independent voices of public radio, and he called this wild and weird sound “natural radio.”
You can hear the piece at hearingvoices.com/news/best-of-bg/. Scroll about halfway down the page to find the audio.For those of you more visually inclined, when I was looking into this story this morning I found this nifty folding paper model of the earth’s magnetosphere.
And then there’s this plain old but nonetheless elegant 2-D rendering of your garden variety AP8 MIN omnidirectional proton flux >=1MeV, which diagrams radiation values in a part of the magnetosphere known as the van Allen Belts.
I had hoped to talk with Mr. van Allen himself to be sure it wasn’t actually a drawing of some kind of beetle, but he’s been unavailable since 2006.