Really fascinating how artists combine scientific theory or research and then sonically express the data, so that what I’m listening to definitely is “making an intangible, invisible phenomenon audible”.
The first thing to say is that solar wind isn’t really wind at all, at least, not the kind of wind that blows off your shed roof or turns your umbrella inside out. Solar wind is actually a torrent of radioactive particles belched out by the Sun every day. As this article explains, the protons, neutrons, electrons and alpha particles are far from benign – if we didn’t have a protective magnetic field around the earth (the magnetosphere), the solar wind would strip our atmosphere and reduce it to a lump of cold rock, a bit like Mars. This solar wind is also responsible for the Auroras Borealis and Australis (the northern and southern lights) making it, like some enigmatic character in film noir, beautiful as well as deadly.
Helen White’s Solar Wind Chime uses data from this ceaseless radioactive flow to…
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