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CassiniSpacecraft instruments record data that can be converted into sound files to help scientists better understand their observations. Click here to hear a range of spooky space sounds.
Before settling into orbit around Saturn in 2004, the Cassini spacecraft faced a white-knuckle ride through the plane of the planet's rings. The spacecraft was bombarded with about 100,000 impacts from dust particles in less than five minutes. While its antenna shielded the craft, Cassini's radio- and plasma-wave instrument measured the assault. When converted into an audio file, the interstellar cacophony is reminiscent of a hailstorm on Earth.
Magnetosphere at GanymedeIn 1996, the Galileo spacecraft's plasma-wave instrument recorded the signature of a magnetosphere at Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede. The spacecraft's recordings are represented here as both sounds and a rainbow-colored graph. The entrance into the Ganymede magnetosphere is marked by a strong burst of noise about 6 to 10 seconds into the recording. As the spacecraft approaches Ganymede, an irregular tone can be heard rising in frequency, reaching a peak and then declining. The pitch of this tone is a measure of the density of charged particles near Ganymede.
Click here to hear the Ganymede magnetosphere and other spooky space sounds.
EnceladusAs if competing for a teacher's attention in a noisy schoolroom, Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus screamed out at the Cassini spacecraft during flybys in February and March of 2005. These sounds from Enceladus, converted from data collected by the spacecraft's magnetometer, represent the detection of an atmosphere around the moon. Once thought to be cold and still, Enceladus is actually relatively warm and brimming with activity. Enceladus and Titan are the only Saturnian moons known to have atmospheres.
Click here to hear the sounds from Enceladus and other spooky space sounds.