Spooky sounds are a mainstay of Halloween, but there’s no sound in space. That doesn’t mean it’s not scary, though. Black holes can vacuum up light and spaghettify matter, but it turns out they have a Halloween vibe if you give them a listen. NASA’s latest data release turns signals from beyond Earth into spooky sounds that are sure to send a chill up your spine.
NASA’s new spooky playlist is available on Soundcloud featuring “moans and whistles from our universe.” It consists of audio from several different sources, shifted as necessary to be inside the range of human hearing. The Sinister Sounds playlist kicks off with the eerie tones from X-ray studies of the galactic center. That’s where you’ll find a true monster: a supermassive black hole with a mass of about 4 billion suns. It’s too far away to be dangerous, but it sure does sound spooky. You cannot, of course, put your ear up to a black hole and “hear” its X-rays — see the aforementioned spaghettification problem. It does make for some creepy audio when sufficiently processed, though.
Next up, there’s audio from NASA’s Juno mission to study Jupiter. These tracks sound like a Doctor Who-style warbling effect with occasional bouts of static. The InSight lander has sent back some sound from the red planet in the past, but the low, rumbling Marsquake noises make another appearance here. NASA even digs into its back catalog to play one of Voyager 1’s greatest hits, “Plasma Waves of the Bow Shock of Jupiter.”
LISTEN IF YOU DARE 🔊Using data from our spacecraft, @NASA scientists gathered new eerie sounds from the depths of space, just in time for Halloween. This playlist is filled with real “moans” and “whistles” from our universe. https://t.co/v7uaGIq66h #NASAHalloween
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) October 28, 2020
The end of the spooky playlist is mostly plasma waves from the moons of Jupiter, which sound like rumbling static with assorted bleeps and boops. Is it spooky? Sure, but not as much as the Juno and galactic center tracks.
Feel free to use these sounds to set the mood this season, courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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