Archive for the ‘longitudinal wave’ Tag

Not-So-Silent Space   Leave a comment

It’s well known that in space, it’s quiet.  No noise, no nothing.  After all, it’s a vacuum, right?

Truth be told, there is sounds that can be heard, if you know how to listen.  Thanks to NASA, they’ve shared terrific examples on their website.  Here’s a brief sampling of what lie out there.  Let’s start out and work our way in.

But first, a bit of an explanation.  Some of these sounds were originally captured as radio waves and were converted into sound.  What’s the difference?  A sound wave is a longitudinal wave caused by particles passing on vibration. The radio wave is a transverse wave and is electromagnetic waves.  In other words, sounds result from causing something to vibrate, whereas radio waves rely on electromagnetic origins.

Returning to our sounds…

In September 2013, Voyager project scientists released to the public sound captured on its durable (or should I say, ‘endurable’?) 8-track tape player.  The high-pitched sounds provided evidence that Voyager had entered a region of cold, dense, interstellar plasma.  Our worlds-weary intrepid friend had finally left our solar system for good, to seek out whatever lie ahead and dutifully report back its findings.  Ready to give yourself the chills?  Play this link: Voyager Reports Back.

As Cassini wended its way around Jupiter in 2001, it picked up some interesting radio waves.  These are the results of scientists converting the radio to sound waves.

Galileo picked up these transmissions from Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede (the first 20 seconds are silent).

Here’s one from Earth.  It’s the whistle heard when ultra-cold liquid helium-3 changes volume relative to the North Pole and Earth’s rotation.

And right here on our home planet, directly from the forest, are translated sounds from tree rings.  No, it’s not space, but it’s kind of weird.





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