Listening to the Aurora

hear this       

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It is often described by using sounds that require open-mouth syllables. There is the standard "crack", the well told "swoosh", and the subpar "hiss".  Lesser known descriptions have even included the likes of bristling and whistling.  For some lucky, onomatopoeia -wielding individuals, our Aurora is quite the noisemaker!

The legitimacy of an audible aurora is home to a well worn open-ended debate. Three distinct positions are readily taken up: there are those who honorably swear, the fact toting few who physically experiment and study the air, and the encompassing rest of the public who quite simply don't care.

Although people claim to hear sounds which seem to match the movement of the brilliant glowing beams of light, the physics of Aurora, as currently understood, are rudely unforgiveable. The aurora rests just under 60-miles up in the sky, and any emitted sound would take roughly 5 minutes to reach any observer; much too long for any seamless coordination between music and movement. In addition, our sky's air is much too thin for sound to physically traverse from such a height.


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In spite of refutation, reports of Auroral Sound ceaselessly propagate. Such reports are nothing new. A roman historian who has been dead for almost 2000 years, Germania Cornelius Tacitus recorded observations which are identical to the accounts of today's aurora watchers. The commonalities are truly baffling.

Scientists are currently unable to collectively
present any form of explanation describing audible auroral emission. Although c
ertain theories have surfaced in the past, and will boldly reappear in the future, the birth of a credible model, one which will take the place of the current conflict as successor, continues to await its time. The debate lives on!

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