NASA scientists are trying to decipher rather eerie whistling sounds its probes have recorded in space. Don’t get too worried though, it’s not aliens.
The team says it recorded the sounds with the help of the Van Allen Probes mission, which allows us “listen to the sounds of space” and how different elements interact.
The space agency attributes the strange sounds to different electromagnetic waves known as plasma waves creating distinctive sounds “in the particle symphony surrounding Earth.”
“While technically a vacuum, space nonetheless contains energetic charged particles, governed by magnetic and electric fields, and it behaves unlike anything we experience on Earth,” NASA said.
“By understanding how waves and particles interact, scientists can learn how electrons are accelerated and lost from the radiation belts and help protect our satellites and telecommunications in space,” a statement explained.
It’s hoped data collected by the probes will help scientists understand the dynamics of the plasma waves, and improve predictability of space weather, “which can have damaging effect on satellites and telecommunications signals.”
The Van Allen Probes are two donut-shaped robotic spacecraft currently studying the electric and magnetic Van Allen Radiation Belts that surround Earth.
The radiation belts fluctuate depending on the space weather system, which is driven by energy and material from the sun.