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Did The Northern Lights Just Make 'Star Wars Blasters' Sounds?

First Posted: Jan 06, 2017 04:13 AM EST
Northern Lights
Britain may not be able to witness the Northern Lights by 2050.
(Photo : ivan castro/YouTube screenshot)

Star Wars blaster sounds were recorded by a tour guide coming from the Northern Lights in Sweden late last year.

SpaceWeather.com reported that strange noises were coming from the Northern Lights in the north of Sweden on the night of Christmas. Tour guide and photographer Oliver Wright described the sound like those coming from the fictional Star Wars blasters when he visited the area with a group of tourists.

"On Christmas Night 2016, I was standing beneath an intense display of auroras in Abisko, Sweden, when I heard something that sounded like Star Wars blasters," he said, adding his companions had heard of the same sound that he recorded on his iPhone. (Listen to the sound here.)

According to the Lights Over Lapland tour guide, the sound most likely came from the power lines nearby as the noise grew louder when he went closer to them. Though Wright has heard of these in his previous visits, this was the first time he recorded the mysterious swooshing sound from the stunning phenomenon.

Wright and his group were not the only ones who had heard of sounds coming from the aurora borealis, though. While others think that these noises just come out of people's imaginations, some researchers argued that there is indeed a scientific explanation behind the swooshing and other varying sounds.

"The sounds are diverse and can vary quite a lot, and it is very possible that there are many different mechanisms creating the sounds," Aalto University acoustician Unto K. Laine said. "I have been concentrating more on the clapping, popping and crackling, because they are good for estimating the direction of the sound."

National Geographic reported that a research conducted by Laine's team explained that these sounds come out when charged particles on a layer in the atmosphere formed on a cold night rapidly discharge.

The aurora borealis occurs when these charged particles flowing in the solar wind interact with the Earth's magnetic field in the atmosphere.

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