The previously silent world of outer space is changing. In this audio tour around the Universe, Dr Lucie Green explores the sounds of space.
Some sounds have been recorded by microphones on-board interplanetary spacecraft. Others have been detected by telescopes and sped up until their frequency is tuned to our ears. The rest are sonified X-rays, space plasma or radio waves that reveal tantalising secrets about the universe that our eyes cannot see.
Everyone can recall the sound of the singing comet - a symphony created using measurements from the Rosetta mission. But many other sounds have been created from space data, from lightning on Jupiter to vibrations inside the Sun. From spinning pulsars to black holes and gamma ray bursts, outside our Solar System space becomes even stranger.
Joining Lucie Green on this sonic journey through space are:
- Prof Tim O'Brien (Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory),
- Honor Harger (Executive Director of the ArtScience museum in Singapore) and
- Dr Andrew Pontzen (Cosmology Research Group, University College London)
with archive from Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell.
Producer: Michelle Martin.
In space, no one can hear you scream.
But the previously silent world of outer space is changing. Astronomers are using sound to help them uncover the secrets of our Universe.
In this programme, solar scientist Dr Lucie Green is our guide around the noisy Universe. Starting from the Earth, she takes us through the Solar System, past the Sun to distant galaxies.
Everyone can recall the sound of the singing comet - a symphony created using measurements taken by the Rosetta lander, Philae. But many other sounds have been created using space missions, from lightening on Venus, to aurora on Saturn.
Other space recordings are of actual sounds which have been sped up by astronomers to make them audible, for example the noise of our nearest star, the Sun.
Just as a doctor listens to the sound of your heart to make a diagnosis, astronomers listen to the oscillations inside stars to draw a detailed picture of their interior. The range of noises are surprising and diverse - from ringing bells to short buzzes and eerie drum rolls, as a star expands to become a red giant in the final phases of its life.
From pulsars to gamma ray bursts, outside our Solar System space becomes even stranger. Pulsars are tiny rotating stars, smaller than London, which can spin at a rate of milliseconds. They emit radio waves from their poles and astronomers detect these pulses as they sweep past earth, like the spinning beam of a lighthouse beacon.
Lucie Green brings you all these sounds, and more, from our incredibly noisy Universe.
Producer: Michelle Martin.