Humans experience all manner of things every day without noticing it. You walk through massive magnetic fields. You are bombarded by wireless transmissions (which you’re totally not allergic to. Find another way to feel special). You move at 107,208km/h, even when you’re standing still. The trick is perceiving any of this.
It’s very hard to perceive Earth’s orbit. It’s easy to perceive wireless transmissions. That’s how WiFi, internet, radio, and TV signals work. Just open Spotify. Magnetic fields are also perceptible. You can do that thing with iron filings, a magnet, and a piece of paper but it’s difficult to do that with a planet. It’s a mission to field a piece of paper large enough, for one.
Playing the magnetic field
The European Space Agency (ESA) has another method for checking out Earth’s magnetic field. Using a series of its Swarm satellites, data of Earth’s protective bubble captured from space was converted into audio. You should be able to hear this if you’re standing in the right spot and everything else is really quiet, but that’s never going to happen. Rather click the SoundCloud link above.
The sound of the lines of force surrounding our planet is… eerie. It brings to mind derelict ships moving through the ocean (creepy) or drifting through space (creepier). In the latter case, there’s probably some xenomorph waiting on board to incubate in a human chest cavity. Or there are ghosts. Or xenomorph ghosts. Either way, it’s strange to know that this sound is going on all around us, all the time. If it stops, then we’re in trouble because the planet’s magnetic field has just collapsed.
Listening to this on SoundCloud isn’t the right way to do so. No, we’re not talking about vinyl, though that would be awfully hipster. A 30-speaker system has been erected at Solbjerg Square in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the sounds of Earth’s magnetic field will be showcased from today until 30 October. But since you’re probably in South Africa and aren’t bound for Denmark any time soon, just listen to it online. It’s creepy enough without the rumbling bass the ESA‘s demonstration will offer listeners.