Whistlers are produced by lightning and travel along Earth's magnetic field line from one hemisphere to the other, as shown in this illustration. In the ionized gas that exists in this region of space, the high frequencies travel faster than the low frequencies, thereby dispersing the wave from the lightning stroke into a whistling tone that decreases in frequency with increasing time, hence the term "whistler."
This example is from the University of Iowa Injun 3 spacecraft.
Return to "Favorite Sounds" page
Return to "Space Audio" page
© The University of Iowa
2003-2013. All rights reserved.
Contact information. Send questions or comments to the site custodian.
The Radio and Plasma Wave Group, Department of Physics & Astronomy, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.