Listen to a Solar Flare Drown Out Radio Communications on Earth

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Author: Adam Mann

Solar Flare Eruptions - Mar 2012

Over the weekend, a tiny spot on the sun erupted into a moderately sized solar flare that was particularly loud in radio waves. With the sound of a roaring wave, it completely drowned out radio communication all over the Earth between 28 MHz and 21.1 MHz.

The recording above comes from either a short wave radio station or a Ham radio transmission, said amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft, who works with NASA’s Radio JOVE project. It’s interesting to hear the voices get “swallowed up as the solar wave passes through,” he added in an e-mail to Wired.

The sun is entering a period of high activity as it enters its solar maximum, the peak of an 11-year solar cycle. Despite this, our local star has been relatively quiet for the last few months, producing few large solar flares or coronal mass ejections — which occur when the sun throws off charged particles at millions of kilometers per hour.

Read More + Audio: Here