SETI bioastro: Fw: Meteors Go Pop In The Night

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Date: Wed Feb 06 2002 - 09:45:40 PST

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Subject: Meteors Go Pop In The Night

Meteors go pop in the night

Recordings of sounds from shooting stars defy explanation.

Nature Science Update
Philip Ball
February 6, 2002

Scientists camping out in the Mongolian snow at minus 30 degrees C have made the
first recordings of an elusive sound: the crackle and pop of a meteor
shower[1]. Their observations defy all current explanations of what happens
when debris burns up on entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

Some meteor booms are simply acoustic waves like those from supersonic
aircraft. But for centuries there have been rumours of more baffling
'electrophonic' noises occurring at the same time as meteors become visible.

Because light travels much faster than sound, there should be a delay
between the appearance of a meteor and its sound - just as thunder generally
comes seconds after a lightning flash. In fact, meteors burn up so high in
the atmosphere that this time delay ought to be a few minutes.

Because one of the leading candidate theories is that
electrically charged particles streaming behind meteors interact with the
Earth's magnetic field and produce radio waves, which cause the
electrophonic noises. These radio waves are broadcast to an observer at the
speed of light. They could be converted to sound by exciting vibrations in
objects at ground level.

Full story here:

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