meteoric: 2009 Leonid Shower & the sound of meteors
December 5, 2008
The other day I saw this sweet video of the meteor that fell to earth near Edmonton, Alberta. When Gmail tossed me a link to this report on Space.com that the 2009 Leonid Meteor Showers are predicted to be stronger in 2009, I checked it out, clicking on to Top 10 Leonids facts. That had some pretty cool stuff including the 1833 Leonids which were so bright and sustained that they lit up the sky and the assertation that you’re more likely to be struck by lightning seven times in a row than to be hit by a meteor (whew).
One that especially caught my eye was the Scary Sounds of Meteors. Sounds have been reported along with meteors for millenia, and while Sir Edmund Halley (he of the comet) wrote it off in the 1700s as imagination:
Australian researcher Colin Keay uses the term to describe a theory he developed in the early 1980s.
As the theory goes, when a space rock plunges earthward, friction caused by the atmosphere creates a trail of electrically charged particles, or plasma, in which Earth’s invisible but potent magnetic field lines become trapped, tangled and twisted like strings of cooked spaghetti.
This magnetic spaghetti is thought to generate very low frequency radio waves, says Keay, a researcher at the University of Newcastle who, though not famous like Halley, does have an asteroid named after him.
Read more from NASA and Colin Keay’s pages on Geophysical Electrophonics. Tying this all back to Michigan, this whole things struck me because I noticed a faint hissing sound in association with the Perseid shower this summer that I wrote off to Halley’s imagination.
Thankfully, the Absolute Michigan pool has a few sky watchers, and Ann Arbor’s postpurchase recently uploaded a beauty! View more of postpurchase’s amazing night sky photography and see this photo larger in his slideshow.