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Meteor fireball sounds identifiedSounds heard simultaneously with the flight of large meteor fireballs are electrical in origin. Confirmation that Extra/Very Low Frequency (ELF/VLF) electromagnetic radiation is produced by the fireball was obtained by Japanese researchers. Although the generation mechanism is not fully understood, studies of the Meteorite Observation and Recovery Project (MORP) and other fireball data indicate that interaction with the atmosphere is definitely responsible and the cut-off magnitude of -9 found for sustained electrophonic sounds is supported by theory. Brief bursts of ELF/VLF radiation may accompany flares or explosions of smaller fireballs, producing transient sounds near favorably placed observers. Laboratory studies show that mundane physical objects can respond to electrical excitation and produce audible sounds. Reports of electrophonic sounds should no longer be discarded. A catalog of over 300 reports relating to electrophonic phenomena associated with meteor fireballs, aurorae, and lightning was assembled. Many other reports have been cataloged in Russian. These may assist the full solution of the similar long-standing and contentious mystery of audible auroral displays.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Keay, Colin
(Newcastle Univ. Newcastle, United Kingdom)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1991
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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