Strange ‘whistling’ sound from inside Saturn


Scientists have been left stumped by the eerie “whistling” sounds beamed back to Earth from inside Saturn’s rings. Listen to the strange sound here… Courtesy: JPLraw/NASA

This view was taken from a vantage point about 28 degrees above Saturn’s equator. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 2, 2016, with a combination of spectral filters which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infra-red light centred at 728 nanometres. Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

THE sound collected by a spacecraft passing between Saturn and its rings has been beamed back to Earth — and it’s left scientists a little perplexed.

Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft dived between Saturn and its innermost ring — an area no man-made object has visited before.

Scientists were excited to hear what Cassini had to offer, but were surprised to be met with an eerie silence. The space between the planet Saturn and its rings seems to be “relatively dust- free”, a surprise which meant that all scientists could hear was an eerie “whistling” sound.

NASA posted an audio file online, so you can hear what was beamed back from inside Saturn.

“The region between the rings and Saturn is ‘the big empty,’ apparently,” said Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“Cassini will stay the course, while the scientists work on the mystery of why the dust level is much lower than expected.”

The “sounds” of Saturn’s rings are actually particles of dust that can be heard by the spacecraft’s plasma detector.

Back in late 2016, Nasa recorded lots of dust particle noises.

But just months later, the mysterious planet has gone silent.

Instead of crackling, which can be heard in the first minute and 18 seconds in the video above, the April recordings are eerily quiet.

It should be full of popping sounds from dust particles bouncing off each other.

The spacecraft diving between Saturn and the planet's innermost ring. Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP

The spacecraft diving between Saturn and the planet’s innermost ring. Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech via APSource:AP

Instead, it sounds more like static from a TV screen and an unexplained whistling noise.

Nasa claims the whistling is a type of plasma wave which they will investigate further.

“It was a bit disorienting — we weren’t hearing what we expected to hear,” Cassini scientist William Kurth said.

Cassini has spent 12 years monitoring Saturn, but is scheduled to crash onto the planet in September, after completing its final mission.

This article originally appeared on The Sun.

This unprocessed NASA handout image released April 27, 2017, shows features in Saturn's atmosphere from closer than ever before.

This unprocessed NASA handout image released April 27, 2017, shows features in Saturn’s atmosphere from closer than ever before.Source:AFP

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