Soaring to the depths of our universe, gallant spacecraft roam the cosmos, snapping images of celestial wonders. Some spacecraft have instruments capable of capturing radio emissions. When scientists convert these to sound waves, the results are eerie to hear.
In time for Halloween, we’ve put together a compilation of elusive “sounds” of howling planets and whistling helium that is sure to make your skin crawl.
This eerie audio represents data collected by our Cassini spacecraft, as it crossed through the gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017, during the first dive of the mission’s Grand Finale. The instrument is able to record ring particles striking the spacecraft in its data. In the data from this dive, there is virtually no detectable peak in pops and cracks that represent ring particles striking the spacecraft. The lack of discernible pops and cracks indicates the region is largely free of small particles.
Voyager Tsunami Waves in Interstellar Space
Listen to this howling audio from our Voyager 1 spacecraft. Voyager 1 has experienced three “tsunami waves” in interstellar space. This kind of wave occurs as a result of a coronal mass ejection erupting from the Sun. The most recent tsunami wave that Voyager experienced began in February 2014, and may still be going. Listen to how these waves cause surrounding ionized matter to ring like a bell.
Voyager Sounds of Interstellar Space
Our Voyager 1 spacecraft captured these high-pitched, spooky sounds of interstellar space from October to November 2012 and April to May 2013.
The soundtrack reproduces the amplitude and frequency of the plasma waves as “heard” by Voyager 1. The waves detected by the instrument antennas can be simply amplified and played through a speaker. These frequencies are within the range heard by human ears.
When scientists extrapolated this line even further back in time (not shown), they deduced that Voyager 1 first encountered interstellar plasma in August 2012.
Plasma Sounds at Jupiter
Ominous sounds of plasma! Our Juno spacecraft has observed plasma wave signals from Jupiter’s ionosphere. The results in this video show an increasing plasma density as Juno descended into Jupiter’s ionosphere during its close pass by Jupiter on February 2, 2017.
Roar of Jupiter
Juno’s Waves instrument recorded this supernatural sounding encounter with the bow shock over the course of about two hours on June 24, 2016. “Bow shock” is where the supersonic solar wind is heated and slowed by Jupiter’s magnetosphere. It is analogous to a sonic boom on Earth. The next day, June 25, 2016, the Waves instrument witnessed the crossing of the magnetopause. “Trapped continuum radiation” refers to waves trapped in a low-density cavity in Jupiter’s magnetosphere.
The bang from fireworks, glass shattering, thunder, car engine revving, a gong, a war cry, the sound of marching, metallic sounds, a gasp.
Someone stepping thru grass or thru the forest, faint singing, sound of a cow bell, dishware and silverware hitting each other, sound of sorting or messing with coins, humming, tying of rope.
The sound of the wind blowing high in the trees, laughter, flap of a wing or tweet of a bird, electricity buzzing, computer or phone notification, wind whistling thru an object, creaky swings, a flute.
Rain, ocean waves, cooking timer winding, crickets, howling at the moon, frogs chirping and croaking, baby laugh, whistling of a kettle, loons, water calmly hitting the side of a boat, seagulls cry, someone getting settled under the covers.
Roaring fire and/or crackling fire, cicadas in the summertime, shifting sands, clicking from high heels or dance shoes, sounds of a crowded place, cat purr, wine/champagne cork being popped open, heartbeat.
The buzzing of bees, turning of a page, sip of tea, crunching of leaves, typing, clicking of a pen, brushing their teeth, dishwasher or laundry machine running, a writing utensil scratching on a piece of paper, woodpecker.
Love dove coos, pizzicato, sound of a kiss, a whisper, a music box tune, opening of a letter, pop of opening lipstick or chapstick, tiptoeing, fluffing of a pillow, rosining a bow.
Boiling water, clothes ripping, the sound of locking or unlocking something, heavy breathing, creaking of a door, splashing, roaring from a waterfall or rapids, coffee grinder or maker, “shh”, silence.
A match lighting, chanting, bells ringing, galloping, fizzling of a sparkler, popping or crackling of a candle, bouncing of a ball, someone steadily running, flags flapping in the wind, a jet engine about to take off, sound of swooshing as something just misses your head, a train horn off in the distance.
Various sounds from cobblestone, treading through the snow, opening of a briefcase, paper shredder, rocks crumbling or falling, picking fruit or leaf off a plant, ATM dispensing money, tick of a clock, echoes.
The sound of breathing when underwater, Tibetan bowl, drums, white noise, someone taking in a deep breath, chimes, something being fast-forwarded or rewind, static, needle on vinyl.
Running water like a creek, river, shower, waterfall, or fountain, light snoring or heavy sleep breathing, popping of popcorn, bubbling of a fish tank, zipping of a sleeping bag, fog horn, piano keys.