Two people in a frozen lake watching the aurora

There exists a lot of tales of the Aurora, and a lot of the tales states that you can hear eerie noises following this beautiful sighting. This has been suspected to be true for a long time, but it hasn’t been proof or an explanation of why there are sounds following the aurora. So what does the aurora sound like, and why does it make a sound?

In 2016 some Finnish scientists did prove that this phenomenon exists and now they have a theory on why it happens. At the Baltic-Nordic Acoustic Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden they stated that the answer can be traced to charged particles trapped in a layer of the atmosphere that forms during cold nights. These particles rapidly discharge when bursts of material from the sun slam into Earth, producing clapping sounds and other noises.

Previously there was a theory that tree needles and pine cones may have been involved in creating the sounds due to electric discharge. You can read more about this in the article “Auroras Make Weird Noises, and now we know why” published by Andrew Fazekas aka. “The night sky guy” on the National Geographic website on June 27, 2016.