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September 19 2012
It turns out the Earth can speak — in the form of chirps and whistles caused by radio waves audible to the human ear, and emitted by the Earth's magnetosphere. It's called a "chorus," or "dawn chorus."
Scientists have known about the phenomenon for some time, as it can be picked up just by using radio receivers. It's most easily picked up in the mornings and that — combined with the signature chirping noise — is what earned it the nickname of the "dawn chorus."
What causes it? These audible radio waves are emitted by energetic particles within the magnetosphere, a phenomenon that surrounds any planet or moon with an intrinsic magnetic field, like Earth. These particles affect (and are affected by) the radiation belts that also surround the planet, creating the unique noises.
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