Frightening “sounds” in space – A moment of science


Despite what horror movies might tell you, the space isn’t quiet.

While it is true that the traditional sound waves we hear with our ears cannot travel in the airless void of space, other types of energy waves can and have been recorded by instruments on spacecraft that scientists then convert into sounds we can hear!

“For example, Parker solar probes – one of our newer missions, have instruments on them to measure waves – radio waves, electromagnetic waves, and we can take that data and sonify it and we can hear the sounds of the waves. particles and waves move away from the sun, ”says Dr. Alex Young, associate director of science in the heliophysical science division of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Those hissing sounds in plasma waves, the dust of comets colliding with distant spacecraft, and even the haunting sounds of magnetic fields from other planets, are weird … or beautiful (depending on your taste for music and love of Science).

But for scientists, this is invaluable data.

“Measuring waves and measuring these ‘sounds’, this sonified information, gives us huge amounts of information about physics and the environment,” Young explains. “It helps us piece together the story of what’s going on.

As the sun is much more alive than the bright ball we see from Earth. I will explain how and why we are studying the sun in detail next week.

Video, images and audio used in this story are courtesy of NASA.


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