What's New
Jul 9, 2019: Welcome Uganda, Puerto Rico, and Kwajalein!
Tonight I added IRIS seismic stations KWAJ (Kwajalein Atoll), MBAR (Uganda), and SJG (Puerto Rico) to the Planetary Sound Machine. Kwajalein, a remote atoll in the Pacific Ocean, has for decades served as target practice for intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from the US. Now is your chance to listen to the Earth's side of that story.
Jul 9, 2019: Earth meets cloud
The Planetary Sound Machine is moving! The rack of tired old Mac Minis in my studio that have valiantly powered the PSM for years are finally retiring. I'm gradually replacing them with Mac Minis and VMs in the cloud, with the help of MacStadium. Watch this space for some new seismic and infrasound stations coming online.
Mar 8, 2019: The sounds of ice and sea
Check out these glorious and delicious sounds of ice, sea, and Earth, brought to us from the seismic station at Palmer Station, Antarctica.
Nov 16, 2017: The atmosphere in stereo
The infrasound audio stream from Pigeon Hill is now coming to you in stereo. The two sensors used for this audio stream are separated by about 20 meters — about 100 times the distance between your ears.
Sep 6, 2017: The atmosphere in stereo
The audio stream from the University of Hawaii's infrasound array is now coming to you in stereo. The two infrasound sensors used for this audio stream are separated by about 35 meters — about 175 times the typical distance between human ears (20cm).
Aug 27, 2017: Welcome to the Indian Ocean
We've added seismic station DGAR, from the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. (Pod 'eos' is now full. Preparations are underway for adding a new pod to the Planetary Sound Machine.)
Aug 27, 2017: Infrasound from Hawaii
We added infrasound station MENE1, from Volcano, Hawaii, courtesy of the University of Hawaii's Infrasound Network. Currently this is a mono audio stream; soon it will available in stereo.
Aug 25, 2017: Just in time for Hurrican Harvey
We added seismic station E1TX in Spring, Texas, just as hurricane Harvey was bearing down on the Texas coast. This station is part of the Seismographs in Schools program, and is operated by the Texas Educational Seismic Project (TXESP).
Jul 28, 2017: Welcome, Antarctica
You can now listen to the seismic sounds of Earth, from a seismometer at Casey Station in the Australian Antarctic Territory.
Jul 23, 2017: The world in your hands
From the home page You can now explore the audio streams in two new ways: using a map of the world (click on the station you'd like to hear) or a slowly spinning globe (sit back and listen, or reorient the globe by mouse, if you like). As you explore this site, you may also notice hints here and there of one of this project's long-term aspirations: to embrace audified signals from many different kinds of detectors around the world. We live immersed in a shimmering sea of energy — seismic waves, infrasound, gravitational waves, colliding subatomic particles… Perhaps when all these ubiquitous energies are made audible we will, through listening, rediscover our long-lost natural state: unbounded astonishment.
Jun 24, 2017: A multitude of streams
After several months of computer coding and audio engineering shenanigans, I'm now able to generate up to four near-real-time stereo Earthsound streams simultaneously from a single Mac Mini (a 'pod'). More pods are on the way, each one streaming four stations from the IRIS/IDA network of global seismometers. Soon you'll be able to explore the sounds of the Earth as never before. The complexity of all this is new for me; occasional glitches, hiccups, and downtime are to be expected. If the site doesn't seem to be working properly one day, I hope you'll try again the next. Never give up trying to listen to the Earth!
Apr 10, 2017: Sleep improvement through silence
I finally removed the brief audio chime between the program segments. The chime was originally introduced to help listeners synchronize their ears to the left edge of the spectrogram image. It turns out that most people did not find this audio cue helpful; even with the chime it can be maddeningly difficult to follow along with the spectrogram. Also, some listeners who occasionally enjoy dozing off to sleep while listening to the sounds of Earth perceived the chime as an unwelcome interruption.
Mar 25, 2017: New stream added
Introducing the near-real-time sounds from seismic station WRAB in Tennant Creek, Australia. Situated in a remote corner of the Outback, far from any coastal microseismic sources, WRAB is one of the quietest stations of the global IRIS/IDA network. In this audio stream, the two horizontal components of ground motion are panned to the left and right audio channels, creating a deliciously wide stereo image.