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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA Listens in as Electrons Whistle While They Work

17 Jul 2017, 14:00 UTC
NASA Listens in as Electrons Whistle While They Work NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith

Space is not empty, nor is it silent. While technically a vacuum, space nonetheless contains energetic charged particles, governed by magnetic and electric fields, and it behaves unlike anything we experience on Earth. In regions laced with magnetic fields, such as the space environment surrounding our planet, particles are continually tossed to and fro by the motion of various electromagnetic waves known as plasma waves. These plasma waves, like the roaring ocean surf, create a rhythmic cacophony that — with the right tools — we can hear across space.

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