I received an interesting alert from SpaceWeather today:
Today, a high speed solar wind stream is passing just south of Earth, making grazing contact with our planet’s magnetic field. This is causing something unusual to happen. Around the poles, Earth’s magnetic field has been ringing like a bell. Rob Stammes recorded the phenomenon from his magnetic observatory in Lofoton, Norway.
“Ths morning, the magnetic field around our observatory (as measured by ground currents) was swinging back an forth with a 100 second period,” says Stammes. “This very stable oscillation went on for more than an hour.”This is quite different from what normally happens when a solar wind stream hits Earth’s magnetic field.
Compared to the cacophany of a normal storm, this morning’s event was a sweet pure tone.Researchers call these pure ultra-low frequency oscillations “pulsations continuous” (Pc). Pc waves have an energizing influence on particles in Earth’s inner magnetosphere because they resonate with the natural motion of particles around the geomagnetic field. This, in turn, can supercharge the aurora borealis.The effect of this solar wind stream may be likened to a person blowing across the top of a soda bottle, the glancing breath producing a nearly monochromatic waveform. “This is quite rare,” says Stammes. “Pulsating continuous signals like these are visible only 2 or 3 times a year.”
Interestingly, two weeks ago, I scheduled some studio time for today, so I could make a new Singing Bowl recording. This magnetic tone vibration will be a part of it, silent and supportive. I’m excited to see how it turns out!