An instrument by the University of Iowa on board NASA’s Juno spacecraft has recorded haunting sounds while travelling 2,600 miles or 4,184 kilometers above Jupiter. The instrument, called Waves, was actually recording the radio emissions by Jupiter’s auroras, which are larger than Earth’s.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory uploaded the audio on YouTube. It has been heard by more than 500,000 people.
The radio emissions were converted into audio by engineers from the University of Iowa. Although scientists have known the presence of these emissions since the 1950s, it was only now that these have been observed closely.
“Jupiter is talking to us in a way only gas-giant worlds can,” points out Bill Kurth, co-investigator for Waves and a research scientist at the university. “Waves detected the signature emissions of the energetic particles that generate the massive auroras that encircle Jupiter’s north pole. These emissions are the strongest in the solar system. Now we are going to try to figure out where the electrons that are generating them come from.”
Scientists also want to learn more about Jupiter’s electrons and ions. Hence, the Waves instrument will sample plasma waves around the gas giant.
Further details about the Jovian planet that will be taken by the Waves instrument will be gathered on Nov. 2.
The Juno spacecraft made its closest flyby to Jupiter on Aug. 27. There are 35 more close flybys planned during the spacecraft’s mission, which is expected to end in February 2018.
The camera aboard Juno took high-resolution views of Jupiter’s atmosphere as well as the planet’s north and south poles.
Last month, Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, was revealed to contain water vapor plumes erupting off its surface. The observations were made by the space agency’s Hubble Space Telescope.
The water plumes are believed to rise up to 125 miles or 200 kilometers. This indicates that it would not take too much effort for experts to drill this moon’s surface in search of an ocean.