The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, also known as NASA, is the United States government agency responsible for the civil space program and aeronautics and space research.
HARP is one of the most ambitious projects of the famous space agency, which is closely watched by some scientists and weather and climate researchers.
The project consists of 180 antennas and emits 1 GW = 1,000,000,000 W, i.e. one trillion high frequency radio waves penetrating the lower atmosphere and interacting with the current of the aurial electrojets. Data used by scientists.
According to According to NASA, the magnetic field surrounding Earth is filled with a symphony of sound that we cannot hear. Across our planet, ultra-low frequency waves create a cacophonous operetta depicting the dramatic relationship between Earth and the Sun.
HARP, or the Audited Heliophysics Project, has converted waves inaudible to humans into sounds, noises and explosions.
“What excites me most about the HARP project is the ability of citizen scientists to make new discoveries in solar physics research through sound analysis. We need your help to understand the complex patterns in the near-Earth space environment.” said The project's principal investigator, Michael Hardinger, is a heliophysicist at the Colorado Space Science Institute.
The space between the Earth and the Sun is filled with particles and is called plasma, which is the material from the star of our solar system.
The plasma creates a steady stream called the solar wind, which is periodically ejected by solar flares. When this solar plasma hits the Earth, the magnetic field lines and plasma around the Earth vibrate like the plucked strings of a lute, creating ultra-low-frequency waves that are rarely detected.
This audible data was obtained thanks to the work Themis (Time History of Interactions During Macroscale Events and Substorms) 2007, NASA launches five satellites to fly through Earth's magnetic “harp” through its magnetosphere.
“THEMIS can test the entire harpoon and has been around for a long time, so it has collected a lot of data,” Hardinger said.
As mentioned, these waves produce a frequency that is inaudible to the human ear, so the HARP team accelerated them and turned them into sound waves.
“The process of identifying new features through deep listening is like a treasure hunt,” said Robert Alexander, a member of the HARP team at Aralab Technologies in Michigan.
HARP was inspired by an earlier sonification project led by Archer (MUSICS (Magnetic Zone Sonified Ripples Involving Citizen Scientists).
When Archer asked high school students in London to listen to sonified data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) satellites, they discovered a new plasma wave pattern associated with solar storms. “London high school students were able to pick out a complex, yet repeatable, pattern in sound that automated methods missed,” Hardinger said.
The success of this project lies in the fact that by having a wide audience, if a sound goes unnoticed by one or more people, it can be picked up by another. “We want people to discover things that we would never have considered or that could not be discovered by computer algorithms. Emmanuel Mazongzong of the University of California, Los Angeles, a member of the HARP team and a member of NASA's THEMIS mission, says: “This is how discoveries are made!
“Data sonification gives humans the opportunity to appreciate the natural music of the universe. We hear sounds that are out of this world, and that's the closest thing to floating in a spacesuit,” concludes Alexander.
To start exploring these sounds, visit Harp website.
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