As we all know, sound does not exist in space due to the fact that sound needs to pass through a medium such as air, water, solids, etc. Because space is a giant vacuum, sound cannot be transmitted in space. This is a fact made famous by the Alien movie poster with their tagline “In space no one can hear you scream.”
But sound can exist in space in other ways. Electromagnetic vibrations that pulsate in similar wavelengths can be played through speakers so we can hear them. NASA did exactly that. NASA designed an advanced instrument that they were able to record electromagnetic waves with and transfer them into sound that a human ear can hear.
Instruments on several NASA probes including Voyager have recorded these waves and translated them into a sound that we can hear, and they are all kinds of spooky. From the brooding, slightly ambient rumblings of Saturn and its rings to the more romantic Neptune, which sounds like sitting on a back porch in July, the solar system’s soundtrack is as emotionally-nuanced as it is almost cinematic. The sound could have easily been used in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
See the full video below:
Some spacecraft have instruments capable of capturing radio emissions. What you’re hearing are the result of scientists’ conversion of these radio emissions to sound waves. Instruments on NASA’s Voyager, INJUN 1, ISEE 1 and HAWKEYE space probes were used to record the vibrations of different objects in our solar system. The recorded sounds are the complex interactions of charged electromagnetic particles from the solar wind, ionisphere, and planetary magnetosphere. For live 24-hour sound from space, visit the Radio Astronomy page.