When the earth does something strange, along comes our show to tell you about it.
Each day our home planet does a particular weird thing more than 3,000 times.
We just don’t know why yet.
It’s called a microseism, and every 26 seconds the planet just sort of shakes a little.
Now the earth generates a fair bit of seismic noise, with all the geologic activity going on.
But not all of it is so regular and precise that you could set a watch to it.
Researcher Jack Oliver first noticed this in the 1960s, and over time other researchers have made discoveries about the pulse.
For example, it appears to be stronger in the Northern Hemisphere’s summer than at other times of the year, and it also gained strength during storms.
They even figured out where the pulse was coming from: a spot in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of West Africa near Gabon.
Why does it happen? We don’t know, but there are a few theories.
One is that it’s related to a volcano in the area, and there’s a similar microseism connected to a volcano in Japan.
The other is that it’s caused by waves essentially knocking into a spot on the continental shelf in just the right way to generate the seismic activity.
So far there’s been no evidence that there’s some kind of robot drummer out there banging out a really slow and steady rhythm, but you never know.
And speaking of faint signals, have we got one for you.
We told you back in March about how NASA had been doing some maintenance on the Deep Space Network system it uses to talk to the Voyager spacecraft, way out there beyond the solar system.
Late last month, after not being able to send messages out, NASA finished its upgrade and sent a message to Voyager 2.
And 11 1/2 billion miles away, Voyager 2 sent a message back.
Isn’t it great when you can pick up right where you leave off?