Do planets radiate noise? (Beginner)

I've read somewhere that scientists have discovered that the planets radiate a noise that resembles music. No, I don't mean "I don't get no satisfaction", but vibrations that comes through as though they would be classified as tones, such as music.

Is this a fact? Could they possibly be classified as musical tones?

Nope, you're right! Not all planets do this, but Jupiter is well known for emitting all kinds of radio waves that sound like some sort of alien music.

Jupiter is special in doing this because it has a very strong magnetic field (an order of magnitude stronger than Earth). When charged particles are accelerated through the field, they give off radio emissions that can sound like whizzes, pops, and regular old static.

You can listen to the radio noise here.

My favorite is the slowed down s-bursts. You can almost hear the particles whizzing around!



This page last updated on July 18, 2015.

About the Author

Briony Horgan

Briony is an Assistant Professor at Purdue University, and uses orbital remote sensing of Mars and the Moon supported by laboratory and field work to investigate planetary surface processes. Her primary tool is spectroscopy, including both visible/near-infrared and mid-infrared. Briony earned her B.S. in Physics from Oregon State University in 2005 and her Ph.D. in Astronomy and Space Sciences from Cornell University in 2010. Her thesis advisor was Prof. Jim Bell (now at ASU). Her thesis was titled "Wind, water, and the sands of Mars", and focused on using spectral and morphologic characteristics of sediments in the northern lowlands of Mars to reveal past and ongoing interactions with liquid water. After her PhD, Briony became an Exploration Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, working primarily in the Mars Space Flight Facility with Phil Christensen. There she investigated the composition, spectral properties, and terrestrial field analogs of soils and sediments on Mars. The results of these studies will aid in constraining the habitability of ancient surface environments on Mars, and may have implications for our understanding of the early Earth. 


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