Friday, July 11, 2008

The Roar of the Aurora

It's the mother of all earthly radio transmissions, a broadcast that's been on the air for billions of years. However, and despite the long run, it's one radio program that you'll probably give a pass: it sounds like Fast-Finger Freddie twisting the shortwave dial at a few hundred RPM.

This cacophony of radio static from Earth is known as Auroral Kilometric Radiation (so-called because the wavelength of the emission is typically kilometers long). AKR is generated when fast-moving particles boil off the Sun, gush into space, and then get manhandled by Earth's magnetic field. The same circumstance accounts for the aurora borealis - those ghostly celestial displays that quietly amuse bored Canadians and insomnious polar bears. ...

Read the rest of Seth's latest article at or at

No comments: