School of Physics and Astronomy

The MUSICS Project

The MUSICS (Magnetospheric Undulations Sonified Incorporating Citizen Scientists) project concerns the space environment around the Earth, the magnetosphere, and the analogues of sound in the space within it, fluid plasma waves. These waves exist only at the ultra-low frequency (ULF) range less than 1 Hz down to fractions of mHz. By speeding up our satellite recordings of these waves, however, we have made them audible to the human ear. The MUSICS project involves listening to these waves and analysing them in audio software.

MUSICS student guide [PDF 1,780KB] — please contact us for the teacher guide
MUSICS spreadsheet [XLS 56KB]
Audio files [962 MB]
Audacity audio software (the portable version is available here)

In addition to the student guide, the following video playlist from the SSFX project contains more information about magnetospheric ULF waves which may be helpful.

For practical tips on e.g. using the audio software, please see the How To section.

Examples of Previous Work

Here are some of examples of good quality work previously presented by students at our Research in Schools conference.

Posters: Poster 1 [PDF 868KB]  Poster 2 [PDF 4,025KB]
Talks: Talk 1 [PDF 2,173KB]  Talk 2 [PDF 1,391KB]  Talk 3 [PDF 2,160KB]

One group of students' work has ended up forming the basis of a scientific paper. Read about their discovery here.

Paper on space sounds following solar storms
Archer et al. (2018) First results from sonification and exploratory citizen science of magnetospheric ULF waves: Long-lasting decreasing-frequency poloidal field line resonances following geomagnetic storms, Space Weather, doi:10.1029/2018SW001988