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Sounds of the Solar System  
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Featured Audio Featured Audio
Explore the solar system at your own pace with this series of interactive features. Find out what's unique about the planets, comets and asteroids in our solar system, wander through a history of robotic exploration and then flip over to the interactive calendar to see what's coming up in space. Check the links at the bottom of the page for more cool interactive web features.
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Radar Echoes from Titan's Surface

This recording was produced by converting into audible sounds some of the radar echoes received by Huygens during the last few kilometers of its descent onto Titan. As the probe approaches the ground, both the pitch and intensity increase. Scientists will use intensity of the echoes to speculate about the nature of the surface.

Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

  
Radar Echoes from Titan's Surface
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Eerie Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emissions

Saturn is a source of intense radio emissions, which have been monitored by the Cassini spacecraft. The radio waves are closely related to the auroras near the poles of the planet. These auroras are similar to Earth's northern and southern lights. This is an audio file of radio emissions from Saturn.

The Cassini spacecraft began detecting these radio emissions in April 2002, when Cassini was 374 million kilometers (234 million miles) from the planet, using the Cassini radio and plasma wave science instrument.

The radio and plasma wave instrument has now provided the first high resolution observations of these emissions, showing an amazing array of variations in frequency and time. The complex radio spectrum with rising and falling tones, is very similar to Earth's auroral radio emissions. These structures indicate that there are numerous small radio sources moving along magnetic field lines threading the auroral region.

Time on this recording has been compressed, so that 73 seconds corresponds to 27 minutes. Since the frequencies of these emissions are well above the audio frequency range, we have shifted them downward by a factor of 44.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The radio and plasma wave science team is based at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ and the instrument team's home page, http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/cassini/.

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Iowa

  
Eerie Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emissions
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Bizarre Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emissions

Saturn is a source of intense radio emissions, which have been monitored by the Cassini spacecraft. The radio waves are closely related to the auroras near the poles of the planet. These auroras are similar to Earth's northern and southern lights. This is an audio file of Saturn's radio emissions.

The Cassini spacecraft began detecting these radio emissions in April 2002, when Cassini was 374 million kilometers (234 million miles) from the planet, using the Cassini radio and plasma wave science instrument. The instrument has now provided the first high resolution observations of these emissions, showing an amazing array of variations in frequency and time. In this example, it appears as though the three rising tones are launched from the more slowly varying narrowband emission near the bottom of this display. If this is the case, it represents a very complicated interaction between waves in Saturn's radio source region, but one which has also been observed at Earth.

Time on this recording has been compressed such that 13 seconds corresponds to 27 seconds. Since the frequencies of these emissions are well above the audio frequency range, we have shifted them downward by a factor of 260.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The radio and plasma wave science team is based at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ and the instrument team's home page, http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/cassini/.

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Iowa

  
Bizarre Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emissions
Download WAV file  
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