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Old September 18 2013, 12:23 PM   #1
rhubarbodendron
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Location: milky way, outer spiral arm, Sol 3
the sound of interstellar space

Note to Mods: this would also fit into Science and Technology but that is more a place for freaks while this topic might meet the interest of a larger audience. Hence I think it fits Misc better.


The Voyager Probe has finally left our solar system and on its way out it found ionized plasma which vibrates. The vibrations are actually in a range we would register as audible tones. We just can't hear them for a lack of air that would transmit the sound.
Within our solar system, the sun's own magnetic field and the solar wind keep that ionized plasma out. Basically, we live in a bubble.

If you'd like to hear what the interstellar space sounds like, here's Voyager's recording:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/nasa-probe-...6.html#8N0sWPk

(It loads extremely slow but it's still pretty cool. I wouldn't exactly call it creepy, though. Inviting, rather )
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Old September 18 2013, 03:15 PM   #2
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

Well there is already a thread about Voyager 1 leaving the solar system in that Science and Tech sub-forum.
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Old September 18 2013, 04:05 PM   #3
rhubarbodendron
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

I hadn't spotted that one. But this is not about Voyager itself but about the fact that interstellar space is not as quiet as we thought and that its "hello" was just coincidentially recorded by V'gr so I think it counts as a new topic. After all, we have a whole board full of Star Trek threads here though it's all the same TV show.


I find it rather fascinating that the universe sings (or whistles, rather). The ancient Greeks' idea of Music of the Spheres suddenly proves to be not as absurd as we thought for the last 2 or 3 centuries.
And I love the irony that outer space is full of sounds no human hears (but then it is characteristic of our species to never listen properly...).

That brings up a string of questions: are there possibly any beings that are able to hear these sounds? Could there be a method of hearing that doesn't require air waves as amplifiers? (Grasshoppers have something like it: they register vibrations with membranes in their knees.) Could these space sounds be used for navgation, like Whistle buoys at sea?

I find this new discovery most thrilling! And who'd have thought that an astrophysical phenomenon can sound so nice?


Btw, (yes, I know, nothing new to HAMs) Earth sings rather nicely, too, as does the sun

As Spock said: The Universe is very gassy
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Old September 20 2013, 10:26 PM   #4
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

I think there was a nice cassette by Mind-Body, which featured Jupiter's sounds. That was my fav.
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Old September 21 2013, 03:10 PM   #5
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

I vaguely remember that there was once an audio recording of a probe that entered Jupiter's atmosphere. The probe got fried almost instantly but a few kilobyte of audio-data got through. If memory serves, that must have been in the early 80s.

There are so many interesting things out there. I'd love to be a space explorer =)
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Old September 21 2013, 11:59 PM   #6
MacLeod
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

Well if we can say one thing about the Universe is that it continues to suprise.
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Old September 22 2013, 12:25 AM   #7
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well if we can say one thing about the Universe is that it continues to suprise.
The real stuff is always a better show than any movie or TV show.
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Old September 22 2013, 10:03 AM   #8
RJDonner&Blitzen
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

That's pretty cool. If you search on YouTube, you can find audio files of the radio emissions from all sorts of celestial bodies, from Jupiter to quasars, translated into sound. The universe sounds mysterious and beautiful. It's a wondrous thing.

Of course, that could also be the death cries of little tiny aliens as Voyager plows through them....
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Old September 22 2013, 11:31 PM   #9
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
That's pretty cool. If you search on YouTube, you can find audio files of the radio emissions from all sorts of celestial bodies, from Jupiter to quasars, translated into sound. The universe sounds mysterious and beautiful. It's a wondrous thing.

Of course, that could also be the death cries of little tiny aliens as Voyager plows through them....
GTA: NASA?
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Old September 23 2013, 01:01 PM   #10
rhubarbodendron
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Of course, that could also be the death cries of little tiny aliens as Voyager plows through them....
The spatial equivalents of Horton's Hoos?
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Old September 23 2013, 11:18 PM   #11
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Re: the sound of interstellar space

"A person's a person, no matter how-- oof!"
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