This just in from Spaceweather:
High above the Arctic Circle in Lofoten, Norway, citizen scientist Rob Stammes operates a space weather monitoring station. His sensors detect ground currents, auroras, radio bursts, and disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field. Yesterday, he says, “I received a musical note from the magnetosphere.”
“Around 05.30 UTC on Jan. 18th, our local magnetic field began to swing back and forth in a rhythmic pattern,” he says. “Electrical currents in the ground did the same thing. It was a nearly pure sine wave–like a low frequency musical note. The episode lastesd for more than 2 hours.”
Stammes has received such notes before, but they are rare. “I see a pattern like this only about once a year,” he says.
Space physicists call this phenomenon a “pulsation continuous” or “Pc” for short. Imagine blowing across a piece of paper, making it flutter with your breath. Solar wind does the same thing to magnetic fields. Pc waves are essentially flutters propagating down the flanks of Earth’s magnetosphere excited by the breath of the sun.
Yesterday’s set of waves washed over Norway and Sweden, but almost nowhere else, according to the global INTERMAGNET network of magnetometers. It was a strictly regional phenomenon.
What happens in the sky when such a pure tone emerges from the natural background cacophony of magnetic activity? “I wish I knew,” says Stammes. “I was asleep at the time.” In fact, it’s possible that no one knows. Tones like these are rare, and they all too often occur while skies are cloudy or daylit, blocking any peculiar auroras from view. Stammes says he plans to build an alert system to help him find out. No pun intended: Stay tuned.
“Pc waves are essentially flutters propagating down the flanks of Earth’s magnetosphere excited by the breath of the sun. ”
I love the imagery of that. The Sun breathes on us and the Earth sings back.
That would have been around 9:30pm Sunday night here on the West Coast of the United States. I had a crazy burst of energy in the second part of the day and got super productive, after having been slug-like most of Sunday. I literally chronicled it as such:
“I have done a coaching call, gone to a meeting, created a new tier for my Patreon that goes with a new class I decided today I’m teaching, advertised said class on all my various things, added pictures to all my Patreon tiers (except for the basic one), added Bring Your Own Ice Cream and the March iteration of Psychic Protection to a bunch of places and updated the page for BYOIC and wrote a blog post about it, worked out some more details for the new podcast (launching next Sunday!) including getting permission to use the intro & outro music, touched base with not nearly enough people via text, updated a phone list, downloaded a manual for a thing i want to do on Patreon, and ate dinner.”
What was your Sunday afternoon/evening like this week?