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Scientists Puzzled by Unidentified Infrasound Signals in Stratosphere

The sun just above the horizon. Jumpstory.

Scientists have been left perplexed by the discovery of unidentified infrasound signals in the stratosphere. These enigmatic phenomena have sparked curiosity and intrigue within the scientific community, leading to a concerted effort to unravel their origin and significance.

 Enigmatic Infrasound Signals Detected in the Stratosphere

In a surprising development, U.S. Department of Energy researchers have reported an unidentified infrasound signal in Earth’s stratosphere. The source of these puzzling signals remains elusive. Daniel Bowman, a Principal Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, said, “In the stratosphere, we’ve found mysterious infrasound signals occurring a few times per hour during some flights, but their source is completely unknown.”

Harnessing Planetary Acoustics

Bowman, an infrasound expert, and holder of a unique infrasound sensor patent, employs these technologies in extreme environments, including the stratosphere, to explore a wide range of planetary acoustics. As per the Debrief, the stratosphere, largely undisturbed by passing aircraft and enjoying calm conditions, proves ideal for deploying microphones attached to high-altitude balloons. This setup allows scientists to detect various natural sounds, from ocean wave movements to meteorological events.

Unusual Infrasound Signals in the Stratosphere

Bowman and his team detected the unusual infrasound signals using cost-effective, solar-powered hot air balloons originating from our planet’s stratosphere. “Our balloons are essentially giant plastic bags with charcoal dust inside,” said Bowman.

These materials, available at most hardware stores, make the balloons dark. “When sunlight hits the dark balloons, the air inside heats up and becomes buoyant, lifting the balloons to over 20 km (66,000 ft) high,” Bowman explained.

Tracking Balloons and Gathering Data

These balloons carry microbarometers to detect low-frequency sound and are tracked via GPS throughout their high-altitude journey. These balloons’ economic construction and easy deployment enable frequent launches and extensive data collection.

Future Applications and Unraveling Mysteries

Bowman suggested that similar solar-powered balloons could be deployed on other planets, potentially studying seismic events on Venus. However, the source of the mysterious infrasonic noise remains unknown, warranting further exploration and data collection. Bowman presented these findings at the 184th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Chicago.

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