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The Scream Aliens Hear From the Earth 223

Posted by kdawson
from the ice-cream dept.
onehitwonder writes "Astronomers have discovered that the Earth emits awful, ear-piercing chirps and whistles that could be heard by any aliens who might be listening, according to an article up at Space.com. The sounds are created by charged particles from the solar wind colliding with Earth's magnetic field. This article explains more about the sounds and links to an audio recording of it."
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The Scream Aliens Hear From the Earth

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  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by phagstrom (451510) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @04:50AM (#24027497)

    If anyone ever makes first contact with us, it will to complain about the noise. Not a good start.

  • I thought (Score:4, Funny)

    by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @04:56AM (#24027505)
    that in space, no one can hear you whistle.
    • Re:I thought (Score:4, Informative)

      by Vectronic (1221470) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:14AM (#24027583)

      Animals (which includes us, and likely the aliens) can't... machines can, sound travels basically the same "out there" as it does in here, its just there isnt enough particles to produce a wave large enough for our ears to detect...but anyways, assuming that aliens are listening, would generally imply they had the technology to do so, rather than just sticking an ear out.

      • Re:I thought (Score:5, Informative)

        by Simian Road (1138739) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:05AM (#24027741)

        I'm afraid that's not true. Assuming that a sound wave could travel (particle to particle) in a gas density like that of outer space (1x10^-11 Pa), quantum effects would completely destroy any signal contained years before one particle could collide into the next.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Vectronic (1221470)

          well, I was using particle ambiguously as in pretty much anything, not specifically as a piece of dust, or something somewhat "large", but anything that isn't a vacuum (atoms, molecules, etc)

          Black Hole Strikes Deepest Note [space.com]

          Astronomers have detected the deepest note ever generated in the cosmos, a B-flat flying through space like a ripple on an invisible pond. No human will actually hear the note, because it is 57 octaves below the keys in the middle of a piano.

          Sound travels, there just isn't enough pressure for our ears to hear it at any distance, I would imagine that even screaming right next to eachother would probably only make it a few feet before becoming inaudible and dropping down like the "57 octaves below..." I doubt that the sound act

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by pipatron (966506)
            Why would the signal drop in pitch?
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Red shift. Most astronomical stuff is moving away from us, owing to universal expansion.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                If your a few feet away and relatively stationary, no red shift should be occurring. The dB would drop, not the Hz. Question really is how fast the dB would drop to 0 on any given sound.

            • by tgd (2822)

              Because God made it drop in pitch, just as He evolved^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcreated you unable to hear it.

          • Re:I thought (Score:5, Informative)

            by theheadlessrabbit (1022587) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:41AM (#24027925) Homepage Journal

            I would imagine that even screaming right next to eachother would probably only make it a few feet before becoming inaudible and dropping down like the "57 octaves below..." I doubt that the sound actually started that low, but who knows...

            an octave is a measurement of a signal's frequency, not amplitude. space would not change the pitch of your words, it would render them completely silent.

          • Re:I thought (Score:5, Informative)

            by Gospodin (547743) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @07:56AM (#24028609)

            So let's see. Middle C is about 260 Hz (with Bb slightly lower). 57 octaves lower is 2^-57 * 260 Hz, which is 5.5 x 10^14 seconds per cycle, or about 17.4 million years per cycle. Yeah, I think it's fair to say that humans aren't going to hear this signal.

          • by ultranova (717540)

            Sound travels, there just isn't enough pressure for our ears to hear it at any distance,

            Or maybe it's just that with thin enough gas, the chances that any of the particles in the passing wave happens to hit you is pretty low.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by fahrbot-bot (874524)
            No human will actually hear the note, because it is 57 octaves below the keys in the middle of a piano.

            Whales, however, are extremely annoyed...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TapeCutter (624760) *
          "quantum effects would completely destroy any signal contained years before one particle could collide into the next"

          I think you mean "obscure the signal", to "destroy" it would imply you can destroy information. /pedant
          • you were being pedant but you actually have a point he quantum effects would be symetric so they reduce the signal noise ratio but the signal would still be there.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Simian Road (1138739)

            True. However, I specifically said signal, not information for a reason.

            The hypothetical situation I was thinking of was an interstellar medium density so low that the "sound" would be transmitted by a single particle travelling through space. Assuming that this particle is going to travel onwards until it hits another particle and transfers its information across, the "signal" (actually meaningful information) would be destroyed. As you cannot predict the exact state of the particle due to quantum effec

          • Re:I thought (Score:4, Informative)

            by Iron Condor (964856) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @10:26AM (#24031373)

            to "destroy" it would imply you can destroy information. /pedant

            And that's problematic how? There's no law of conservation of information. Information is destroyed all around us all the time. Look up "second law of thermodynamics" one of these days.

      • Re:I thought (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MrNaz (730548) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:27AM (#24027843) Homepage

        Sound is the propagation of a wave within a medium, and in space, there is no medium with the density required to propagate a wave of any kind. Sound can travel within a medium such as a gas, however when the gas density decreases such as an atmosphere does as you get further from the surface, the sound wave attenuates, eventually petering out to nothing.

        When the article says that the Earth "screams" and "whistles", it's not talking about acoustic sound waves, rather, the acoustic translation of the radio waves that are given off as a result of the helio-terrestrial effects. Whatever sensory capacity aliens have may not actually consider it to be noise, to them, it may sound pleasant, the way the waves on a beach sound to us. They may be translating it into their native sensory package, which may be "eyes" that are only sensitive to microwaves, or "ears" that only "hear" sound in a band outside of our 5hz-15khz range. Once translated, we have no idea how they'd perceive the resulting sensory experience to be. It could be a piercing shriek to them, or a gentle soothing experience.

        • by XchristX (839963)

          Sound is the propagation of a wave within a medium,

          Well it's a little more complicated than that. Sound is MICROSCOPIC VIBRATIONAL modes propagated within a medium without any bulk motion. Matter waves of other kinds propagate through vacuum just fine.
          http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0512047 [arxiv.org]

          Also, the rotating double-spiral structure of our own galaxy is believed by astrophysicists to be a soliton (a special kind of wave).

          and in space, there is no medium with the density required to propagate a wave of any kind

          not quite, since not all waves require media to propagate. Radiation doesn't, and it propagates through space just fine.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nine-times (778537)

          Whatever sensory capacity aliens have may not actually consider it to be noise, to them, it may sound pleasant, the way the waves on a beach sound to us.

          Everyone seems to want to ask, "what if it sounds good to aliens?" I guess that's kind of interesting and all, but I think the better question is, why would the aliens be listening? I'm just thinking that there are an awful lot of sources of EM radiation in the universe. If, among all those sources, they manage to detect these radio waves from Earth's atmosphere, why would they go pumping *that* into their stereo systems to listen to the sound?

          I guess we're supposed to believe that they'd go through all

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by thelandp (632129)

          Sound is the propagation of a wave within a medium, and in space, there is no medium with the density required to propagate a wave of any kind.

          The sentence above is the initial, much geekier version of the tagline, which was later reduced to "In space, no one can hear you scream"

  • by geomobile (1312099) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @04:58AM (#24027511) Homepage
    The usefulness of this discovery in finding planets or identifying if they have an atmosphere is interesting.

    It as interesting as the lengths they went to create a sensationalist headline ...any emission in any spectrum can be mapped to audible sound, I guess. Unless it carries information encoded in analog form meant to be replayed as sound, it will always sound like awful, ear-piercing chirps and whistles.

    News pattern:

    1. Find interesting scientific discovery that features emissions in any spectrum.
    2. Map emission to audible sound.
    3. Write "The screams X emits to anybody listening"
    4. Profit.

    Wait, no ??? line. I must have told it wrong.
    • by patio11 (857072) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:30AM (#24027633)

      The emission could just as well be playing a Britney Spears song -- its just that the programmers at Kl'agnorf Multidimensional Muzzak borked their encoding routine.

      (Unborking their encoding routine would probably cause an interstellar war, though, as the Intergalactic Association Of Recording Artists claims that Spears was clearly pirating Pu'oluk's Fuzzion album. And doing a poor job of it, which they privately concede they wouldn't have thought possible.)

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Temtongkek (975742)
        I think you just referred to yourself in the 4th person and gave me dysentery at the same time. Great. Thanks. Not only am I now scared of intermagicalactic war of a crappy recording artist, but I've shite me drawers and lost sense of all grammar knowing-stuff. Thanks, dick.
      • by jefu (53450)

        A question for the lawyers out there. Suppose it were B.S.'s song being sent and it were received by an alien on a planet 200 light years away.

        Has the copyright expired?

  • The Earth should install Adobe Flash Player, then it would be completely silent unless aliens install the plug-in and the server isn't /.'d.

  • by statemachine (840641) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:03AM (#24027527)

    Our planet is also known to hum, a mysterious low-frequency sound thought to be caused by the churning ocean or the roiling atmosphere.

    No, that's from our warp engines. How else do you move a planet around?

  • by Per Wigren (5315) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:05AM (#24027533) Homepage

    Earth sounds like a 16 kbps MP3 encoding of /dev/random

  • Sounds like Ridley Scott and/or Jim Cameron has to make a new version of "Alien(s)" in which we *can* hear the scream. And frankly, if I remember the original correctly, all Lambert did was scream. Sheesh Lambert, shut the f**k up! And of course, this time, Ash has to be a hobbit robot.

  • by Konster (252488) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:07AM (#24027537)

    Here's a copy on Youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu_moia-oVI [youtube.com]

  • Right but that's (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:10AM (#24027549)

    that could be heard by any aliens who might be listening

          Assuming that "aliens" can hear at all.

          Of course "hearing" is based on the detection of vibrations in the surrounding medium - a sense that is very antiquated indeed - and available to even some of the most primitive organisms. On Earth. However it's difficult to use the mere existence of such a sense to apply it to possible creatures on entirely different worlds. Perhaps given very different environments with stranger density/pressure conditions other senses would be more vital for survival. Of course one could argue that as far as we know the conditions that are suitable for life would not be that different from our own, therefore hearing would probably have to exist.

          And then we can argue that the "screeches", etc, are merely the way we choose to make our computers interpret this data.

    • by mh1997 (1065630) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:09AM (#24027753)

      that could be heard by any aliens who might be listening

      Assuming that "aliens" can hear at all.

      What kind of racist thinks Mexicans can't hear at all? I would think their incidence of deafness would be roughly the same as any other population.

    • by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:34AM (#24027895)

      Of course "hearing" is based on the detection of vibrations in the surrounding medium - a sense that is very antiquated indeed - and available to even some of the most primitive organisms. On Earth.

      How exactly is hearing antiquated? Lets see:

      • Predator/prey/Danger detection
      • Territorial alarm mechanism (coupled with the ability to vocalize of course).
      • Used in mating rituals.

      The list goes on. As far as how difficult it would be use hearing on a different world, I find that hard to believe as well. Given that sound is just vibrations traveling through a medium any planet with an atmosphere could conceivably have life that utilizes hearing for just such reasons as those listed above. In fact I would say that the ability to hear could very well be universal (or nearly so) in "advanced" lifeforms (advanced in the sense that they are more evolved than an amoeba for example).

      And then we can argue that the "screeches", etc, are merely the way we choose to make our computers interpret this data.

      Yes, because our brains are wired to listen for certain patterns, so what you're saying is correct. Of course, this could be true of a variety of lifeforms, so it could very well sound like that to them too. It would be interesting to encounter a lifeform that listens to those "screeches" and interprets them as, say, War and Peace (or the ET version of it), but I think it would be highly unlikely.

      • I think he meant that it was antiquated in the sense that it had been around since the earliest life, not that it wasn't still useful.

        • Hmmmmm, I see what you mean. Poor word choice if so... Or maybe antiquated doesn't mean what I think it means :-P

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wylfing (144940)

        In fact I would say that the ability to hear could very well be universal (or nearly so) in "advanced" lifeforms

        Quite so. I don't understand why people think xenos would have exotic senses that are nothing like our own. If there is a source of information about your environment, it is a survival advantage to be able to detect and process that information. A few great sources of information are vibrations, chemical makeup, and radiation -- all three of which ought to be bountiful on just about any planet. We

      • >>Given that sound is just vibrations traveling through a medium any planet with an atmosphere could conceivably have life that utilizes hearing

        You came so close to touching on probably the most important evolutionary reason to have hearing- It's almost free. Hearing is feeling. Feeling is essential for all but the simplest microbes.

        If a creature can feel at all, it can already detect very loud/low frequency sounds. It makes sense to evolve exquisitely sensitive feeling/hearing nerves using already av

  • Incomplete summary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:12AM (#24027567)

    The summary could have mentioned that although

    Scientists have known about the radiation since the 1970s.


    somebody learned something new about the radiation produced by charged particles trapped in the Earth's magnetic field,

    But new data from the European Space Agency's Cluster mission, a group of four high-flying satellites, reveals the bursts of radio waves head off to the cosmos in beam-like fashion, instead.


    which seems fairly interesting. I wonder if anybody's got a model worked out yet to explain how a narrow planar beam gets generated.

  • To us... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Chysn (898420) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:17AM (#24027585)

    ...it's a scream. To the aliens, it's the siren's call of potential conquest.

    • Re:To us... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:56AM (#24027711)

      funny i was thinking the opposite. Mother earth is warning the aliens to stay away.

      Call it an interstellar quarantine marker from the planet itself.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Chysn (898420)

        That's insightful, but I think what it says to an advanced civilization is "This Planet Has An Atmosphere, And Therefore Edible People. Now Turn Down The Damn Radio."

      • The first thing that came to my mind was this exchange from Alien:

        Ripley: Ash, that transmission - Mother's deciphered part of it. It doesn't look like an S.O.S.
        Ash: What is it, then?
        Ripley: Well, I, it looks like a warning. I'm gonna go out after them.
        Ash: What's the point? I mean by the, the time it takes to get there, you'll, they'll know if it's a warning or not, yes?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:20AM (#24027595)

    Can't another planet emit those noises ?
    I suppose the answer is "Yes", if it has a magnetic field and if it orbits a usual star.
    So, can't we use those noises to detect extrasolar planets ?

    • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:21AM (#24027819) Homepage Journal

      The problem with this is, the "scream" a planet produces is insignificant to the SCREAM the star it orbits would produce.

      Its like trying to hear what someone is saying when they are stood next to the speakers at a rock concert and you are on the other side of the stadium.

      You would be better getting a video camera with a telephoto lens and trying to lipread :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NoobixCube (1133473)
        I think the important part is the distortion created in the general background scream. I don't know much about the possible methods of observation, but if the incomprehensible jabber of the star is distorted in a regular pattern (say a funny sequence of higher pitched clicks amid the chirping) which could look like an orbit when the position of the distortion over time is graphed, then there's a fair chance it's a planet. Or some other large body with a magnetic field... or a tiny body with an extremely l
    • More importantly: can we determine if the extra-solar planets we know of (or find) have magnetospheres?

      The magnetosphere protects us from stellar and interstellar radiation. Without shielding, life as we know it on Earth could not exist (at least not exposed to the sky).

      It would, I think, be very interesting to know the presence or lack of magnetospheres on planets outside the solarsystem.

  • It is Britney Spears singing who has the size of a planet.

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:29AM (#24027627) Homepage Journal

    ...a million voices cried out at once...

  • Complaint. (Score:5, Funny)

    by owlnation (858981) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @05:45AM (#24027677)
    Dear Magrathea Customer Support,

    it has come to our attention that the planet, namely the EARTH, which we purchased from you some millennia ago, may now be faulty. It appears to emit a high pitched screeching noise as it turns around its star. We are not sure at this point if it's perhaps an intermittent fault, however Benji can hear it every time he's out in his spaceship.

    We understand that the planet is still covered by warranty, thus we would be grateful if you could send some engineers around to have a look at it. Mornings suit us best.

    Kind regards
    The Mice.
    • The next morning(*), in a galaxy far, far away.

      "I feel a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."

      (*)Galactic unit.

    • Thank you for bringing this to our attention. In our drive to reach the highest possible customer satisfaction, your free replacement planet will be delivered today.

      Your current planet will of course be recycled at no additional charge.

      Thank you for choosing Magrathea Planetary Systems and we look forward to your future business.

  • Apply apropiate transform function to the sensors data stream, and you could hear 'Lucy in the sky with diamonds' if you would...

    So what?

    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      Apply apropiate transform function to the sensors data stream, and you could hear 'Lucy in the sky with diamonds' if you would...

      Apply appropiate transform function to the data stream on the Slashdot servers, and your comment could be pertinent...

  • earth recordings (Score:2, Informative)

    by tacet (1142479)
    aurora recordings on earth is known many years already. even when you can't see auroras, you can hear them in VLF range. for example http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/mcgreevy/ [uiowa.edu]
  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:01AM (#24027731)
    earth's cries ...ear-piercing .... sounds .... heard by aliens ...listening

    I used to think that space,com had some credibility, but it looks like they're willing to give up any principles of sound (ooops, pun unintended) reporting in the pursuit of a good headline

    All that's happened is some scientists have concluded the solar wind interacts with our magnetic field to emit radio waves. Hardly a big deal, but I suppose it's a cheap, undemanding article that attracts the uniniatated (and slashdot readers) to their advertising.

    So much for a decent science article

    • As kids we used to tune in between the stations on our short wave radios to listen to charged particles emitting radio waves as they spiraled through the Earth's magnetic fields.

      How is this process different?

    • This is just plain shoddy reporting.

      There is nothing new here: Earth's natural VLF emissions have been known and studied for decades. The only thing new here is a new standard of bad reporting.

      Sigh.

      ...laura

  • Isn't it that sound cannot travel in vacuum? It needs a medium to travel. Is this some other kind of sound which travels without a medium? Or Is it that the summary of the article is not correct?
  • by Bwana Geek (1033040) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:16AM (#24027791) Journal
    Further baffling the astronomers, the sun appears to emit a deep, villainous laugh.
  • by gsslay (807818) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:20AM (#24027817)

    If you take any kind of electro-magnetic wave and arbitrarily convert it to sound waves using a formula you've just made up, then amazingly it's going to sound awful. But the idea that the Earth is emitting "sound" that aliens may find "ear piercing" is misleading garbage.

    • Calling it a sound is just a way of analogising it to a sensory spectrum we can perceive. We look at radio telescope images in false colour, so why not listen for anomalies too? I'm not a musician, but I can pick up patterns in noise pretty easily. There's hardly anything remarkable about me, so I'd say I'm certainly not unique in having that trait. A regularly repeated "noise" could be attributed to reactions within the star, however it could also be the magnetic field of a planet distorting regular ra
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gsslay (807818)

        I don't disagree, converting to sound is a useful process for representing what would otherwise be invisible to our senses. A lot of our understanding of science revolves around models like this. But we need to appreciate that they are only models.

        Dumping your model straight back into reality and speculating what the results may be is just nonsense that suggests you've no understand of what the underlying phenomenon actually is, just the misguided idea that the model is the reality.

        If I converted the peak

  • Misleading FA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @06:38AM (#24027913)

    It's very likely the original auroral noise is much closer to your basic interstation FM hiss than "piercing chirps and whistles". Somebody put the noise through a FFT-like process which pretty much made up all the coherent beeps out of random noise.

    But studying random noise seems a whole lot less interesting than trying to make out words from the chirps.

  • These are radio waves.

    And, since they don't penetrate our ionosphere, in order to do this

    The knowledge could also be used by Earth's astronomers to detect planets around other stars, if they can build a new radio telescope big enough for the search.

    Those radio telescopes would have to be built in space, not here on Earth.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @07:19AM (#24028159) Homepage Journal

    Obviously a topic ripe with potential for humor, and once again Slashdot has attempted to meet the challenge. Some would say grandly, others would say falling short. It all depends on your sense of humor, of course.

    On a more serious note...

    There are those who believe that our emissions of radio and TV signals are advertising our presence to book ("To Serve Man") authors everywhere, and that letting our presence be known is a Really Bad Idea. (TM) They should be happy to hear that we're being drowned out quite effectively by the Earth, itself. From what I remember, a really good detector can fish signal out of this much noise, but you also have to have more of an idea what you're looking for.

    Which also has implications for SETI and such. Maybe there's more noise out there than we anticipated. We knew that suns make some serious noise, as do Jupiter-type planets. I'm not sure we knew how much noise Earth-style planets make.

    Plus there's the nature of "intelligent" signals themselves. You can listen to Morse code and pretty quickly come to the conclusion that it's modulated - not random noise. Even if the concept of a BFO is foreign, you can look at it on an oscilloscope and figure that out. Next would be an AM or FM modulated signal. Even if it's Brittany Spears, as others mention, you can probably figure out that it's a modulated signal. By the time you get to Adolph Hitler opening the Olympic Games it's starting to get rougher. But I guess if you hang a spectrum analyzer on the thing, you can figure out that it's a modulates signal, find the video fields, figure out that there's a second signal (audio) on a subcarrier, etc.

    Now from first principles try to intercept and decode an HTDV signal, even without DRM. Or how about spread-spectrum communications, or the various cellphone signaling mechanisms. In fact, good signal compression turns *any* signal into noise. That's because if there were anything in the compressed output that looked regular, then the compression would have been evaluated as lacking. This is even before we try to add any encryption, but in fact some compression/archive programs include password protection, because it does so good a job of de-regularizing data that it practically is encrypted.

    Which brings us to "Dpilot's Corollary to Clarke's Third Law" :
    "Any sufficiently advanced communications technology is indistinguishable from noise."

    (Need I state Clarke's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.")

    Which brings us back to SETI and Drake... Maybe the signals of interstellar communication are all around us - and we're just not smart enough to recognize and decode it - yet.

  • Codecs?! (Score:2, Funny)

    by krugerl1 (966548)
    Nah man, its not really chirps and whistles, their just using the wrong codecs to listen to it... try using mplayer!!!
  • You might be able to make out the Fab Four singing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand".

  • Vorglons have no ears, you insensitive clod!
  • The aliens at Proxima Centurai are just settling down now for their TV coverage of the Athens Olympics 2004.

    http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/extra/nearest.html [wisc.edu]

  • Distinctive sounds as this means a magnetic field, which in turns means a liquid magnetic core, which means a geologically alive planet, and potentially life. Venus and Mars are not geologically alive and have much smaller magnetic fields.
  • old broadcasts of HeeHaw streaming out into the Universe... with Minnie Pearl [audiosparx.com] screeching "How-DEEEE!"

    So really, it's just the Earth saying hello ;)
  • Maybe there's a simpler explanation.

    Maybe there's just a great disturbance in the Force. As if a million souls are crying out in torment and just haven't been silenced at once.

    Look for horses not zebras, folks.

  • Shouldn't we be able to pick up the radio noise generated by earth-like planets in other solar systems?

  • ...that my mother was hooked on a particular soap opera, called "As The World Turns."

    Perhaps that could now be brought back in the form of "As The World Screams."

    BTW, don't tell the televangelists about this. They'll probably want to try and find some way to organize a choir of all the system's planets. Gad, talk about "Music of the Spheres..."

    Now, where did I put my industrial-grade earmuffs...?

  • ...would hear the voice of Heath Ledger? I don't get it.

  • I know this is borderline OT, but it's something I've wondered about recently.

    Why is it that I can "see" when things are upside down, but there is no such audible distinction?
    Is it because sight is reception of photons (EM), and hearing is pressure/vibration of air molecules?
    Why is it that I can immediately know my book or TV is upside down, but not when my speakers have been turned upside down?
    Is it that I can easily "see" in 2 dimensions, but that I only hear in 1 linear dimension?
    I'm sure there'

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