NASA probe records strange ‘song’ coming from Saturn and its moon

Rob Waugh
Contributor
This recording was captured by the Radio Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument on 2 September 2017

NASA has released audio captured by its Cassini probe in one of its last orbits before it plunged to its doom on Saturn last year.

It sounds like a strange, whistling song coming from the planet.

But while it is eerie, we should point out that they’re not they’re not ‘sounds’ in the traditional sense – they’re plasma waves.

The probe captured plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus.

The observations show for the first time that the waves travel on magnetic field lines connecting Saturn directly to Enceladus.

The field lines are like an electrical circuit between the two bodies, with energy flowing back and forth.

Researchers converted the recording of plasma waves into a “whooshing” audio file that we can hear – in the same way a radio translates electromagnetic waves into music.

Ali Sulaiman, planetary scientist at the University of Iowa said, ‘Enceladus is this little generator going around Saturn, and we know it is a continuous source of energy. ‘Now we find that Saturn responds by launching signals in the form of plasma waves, through the circuit of magnetic field lines connecting it to Enceladus hundreds of thousands of miles away.’