Chorus waves in Earth's magnetosphere are generated in the Van Allen radiation belts by electrons spiraling along Earth's magnetic field lines in this region. Once generated, the chorus waves interact with the moving electrons, disturbing the spiral orbit of the electrons and causing them to fall into Earth's upper atmosphere along the magnetic field lines.
Chorus waves consist of a rapid succession of intense ascending tones, rising in frequency over very short time intervals, each tone lasting typically less than one second. The frequencies of these rising tones occur in the audio frequency range and sound like a dawn chorus of chirping birds, a sound which gives these waves their name.
This example is from the University of Iowa Injun 3 spacecraft.
You can also view an AVI version of the video.
Return to "Favorite Sounds" page
Return to "Space Audio" page
© The University of Iowa
2003-2018. All rights reserved.
Contact information. Send questions or comments to the site custodian.
The Radio and Plasma Wave Group, Department of Physics & Astronomy, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.