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U-M Alum Taps into Data Sonification to Listen to the ‘Hum of the Sun’

Alumnus Robert Alexander uses data sonification to describe the “Hum of the Sun” for NASA’s Curious Universe podcast.

Robert Alexander, an alumnus of U-M Climate and Space, is featured in NASA’s flagship agency podcast “Curious Universe” in an episode that is part of the sixth season called “Hum of the Sun.”

The episode addresses heliophysics and data sonification, answering the question of what it sounds like in outer space. Through a process called data sonification, heliophysicists are using NASA satellites like audio recorders to listen to “the electromagnetic symphony our Sun plays on the strings of Earth’s magnetic field.” Along the way, they are making new discoveries.

Listen to the podcast to learn how you can join sonification specialist Robert Alexander and heliophysicist Mike Hartinger in listening to Earth’s “magnetic harp” through a new NASA citizen science initiative. The podcast was released in November, and it is available from NASA and anywhere podcasts are available.

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