A project led by Andrew Williams from the University of Leicester’s Space Center has revealed the ‘animalistic’ sounds in the dark, cold vacuum of space.
The sounds were gathered from two main sources: electrons hitting the Earth’s upper atmosphere and plasma passing through the Sun.
“By transposing sounds recorded by satellites into the audible range, I have been able to present the data as audio, providing a glimpse of what space would sound like if we were there and if the sounds generated were in our audible range,” Williams said.
Using data collected on July 9, 2001 from the Cluster II satellite, Williams has created an audio composition entitled Chorus which reveals the brief, rising-frequency tones caused by the impacts of electrons.
Williams has revealed the similarities of the sound created by electrons hitting the upper atmosphere of Earth to a dawn chorus of birds while the low hum of plasma passing through the Sun creates a pulsing rhythm reflecting the heartbeat of the Solar System.
“I was quite shocked at how similar electrons hitting the Earth’s atmosphere sound to bird song. Collectively, it is surprising to hear that space has an almost animalistic quality to its sounds which I have been quite struck by,” Williams said.
“People have reacted to these recordings in very different ways.”
“There have been quite a few people who have been happy to just sit and absorb the sounds and a glimpse into a part of space they would not normally have access to,” Williams said.
Another composition is a deep pulsing sound recorded by NASA/ESA’s SOHO spacecraft caused by plasma passing through the Sun.