A remarkable sounds from outer space today, with the European Space Agency’s recording of ‘dawn chorus’ signals detected by their Wide Band Data instrument.
Here’s how it works: high-energy electrons get trapped in the Earth’s radiation belts.
When they are accelerated by the electromagnetic field, they produce this familiar sound.
With the help of missions studying particles in space like the four Cluster spacecraft, ESA scientists are investigating how the electrons are accelerated and how the sound like the ‘dawn chorus’ of birds is created.
For our reimagined version, we started by considering quite how much this phenomenon known as the “electromagnetic dawn chorus” sounds like real birdsong.
An obvious starting point was to blend this sound with birdsong from one of our favourite local spots, Wytham Woods near Oxford, UK – which is a site of special scientific research so fits the theme nicely.
From there, the piece is designed to create a picture of what it might be like to “see dawn” in space, moving across the Earth until the sun appears, breaking on one side of our field of vision until it magnificently reveals itself in full.
This is watching the sun rise in outer space.