Looking to get in the mood for Halloween? There’s nothing spookier than the eerie sounds emanating from the depths of space. So to help scare the bejesus out of us, NASA has released a brand new playlist of “Sinister sounds of the Solar System”.
Using new data from its many spacecraft currently scattered throughout the Solar System, NASA has gathered a playlist featuring the “creaks, howls, and cackles of our universe” that rivals any haunted house.
Who needs a werewolf howl when you can listen to Jupiter's aurorae whistle and moan, and a half-hearted "WoooOOOooo!" just isn't going to cut it compared to the thud of a Marsquake.
While it's true in space no one can hear you scream, that doesn't mean we can't "listen" to the sounds of the cosmos. Data captured by Juno orbiting Jupiter, the InSight Mars lander currently roaming across the Red Planet, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory among others were translated into sound for our audio pleasure (and, of course, scientific discovery).
And yes, it's creepy.
By turning data such as radio emissions, radio signals, bow shocks, and plasma waves into soundwaves in a process called sonification, we can "hear" what the center of the Milky Way sounds like, or a storm hurling itself at Earth's magnetosphere, or the eerie music stars make.
Included in the new playlist is the haunting "sound" of Jupiter's aurorae captured when Juno entered its magnetosphere in 2017, the radio emissions and plasma waves transformed into soundwaves by engineers.
In early 2019, the first Marsquake was detected, a faint tremor recorded using InSight's seismic equipment, showing Mars is still active. Since then, over 20 Marsquakes have been recorded, and by using sonification and speeding the sound up, NASA scientists gave us the opportunity to listen to these tremors late last year.
There's plenty more to whet your appetite, from the dulcet tones of Cassiopeia, the famous "W" constellation, to the curious jangling music of solar winds passing a NASA satellite.
So if you're looking for an ambient soundtrack to accompany your celebrations come All Hallows' Eve, NASA has you covered. Either sit back and relax with a pleasant evening at home listening to the wonders of the universe or use it to scare off social-distance-breaking trick or treaters or those out for a hair-raising stroll during the Halloween full moon.