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Space & Astronomy

Eerie space sounds recorded around Saturn

By T.K. Randall
July 11, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments

What does space sound like ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Back in 2017, Cassini picked up the sounds of plasma waves travelling between Saturn and Enceladus.
The otherworldly whooshing, whistling noise is the result of the spacecraft converting electromagnetic radiation (radio waves) in to audible sound using its Radio Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument.

The audio is not a recording of actual sound as, due to the lack of a vibrational medium, sound waves cannot travel through the vacuum of space.
"Enceladus is this little generator going around Saturn, and we know it is a continuous source of energy," said planetary scientist Ali Sulaiman of the University of Iowa.

"Now we find that Saturn responds by launching signals in the form of plasma waves, through the circuit of magnetic field lines connecting it to Enceladus hundreds of thousands of miles away."

The recording itself can be heard below.



Source: Science Alert | Comments (7)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 6 years ago
Saturn is objectively the best planet in our system.
Comment icon #2 Posted by oldrover 6 years ago
It's got that 50's B picture vibe about if. Really interesting. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Stiff 6 years ago
So THAT'S where Rush got the idea for the intro of 2112. I knew it!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Seti42 6 years ago
Sounds like dark ambient drone music. Or maybe dark ambient drone music sounds like Saturn.
Comment icon #5 Posted by DirtyDocMartens 6 years ago
But this isn’t the actual phenomenon, right? It’s an audio representation of it? Could you just as well represent it as visible colors? I really don’t understand it, any assistance would be appreciated.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Hammerclaw 6 years ago
It's the actual electromagnetic emanations converted to sound, the same way a conventional artificial audio signal is converted to sound. We've had these sorts of recordings since Voyager.                                                                                                               
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
If you are listening to the radio during a storm you will hear noise when there is lightning. It isn't actually the sound of the lightning you are hearing, but it is a direct result of the electromagnetic discharge of the lightning. Same thing here.


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