Fiona Amery, The Conversation »

  • Fiona Amery is a PhD Candidate in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

It’s a question that has puzzled observers for centuries: do the fantastic green and crimson light displays of the aurora borealis produce any discernible sound?

Conjured by the interaction of solar particles with gas molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, the aurora generally occurs near Earth’s poles, where the magnetic field is strongest. Reports of the aurora making a noise, however, are rare – and were historically dismissed by scientists.

But a Finnish study in 2016 claimed to have finally confirmed that the northern lights really do produce sound audible to the human ear. A recording made by one of the researchers involved in the study even claimed to have captured the sound made by the captivating lights 70 metres above ground level.

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