The sound of the moon Ganymede

This is a musical premiere. And it comes from space. It was recorded by NASA scientists. They shared the sound of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. When was the audio recorded? It was during a flyby of the natural satellite. It was done as part of the Juno mission to the fifth planet of the solar system.

The sound of the moon Ganymede was recorded by NASA.
The sound of the moon Ganymede was recorded by NASA.

Space soundtrack

The recording, was shared at a briefing at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. It is less than a minute long. It was recorded during a close approach to the natural satellite on June 7.

Su used the Waves instrument. Scientists collected data from electric and magnetic radio waves. They are produced by the moon’s magnetosphere. Then their frequency was changed to produce the audio track in question.

“This soundtrack is pretty wild. You feel like you’re inside Juno as it sails alongside Ganymede. It’s the first time in over two decades.” That’s what Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton said. He works with the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

Variable sound

There is an abrupt shift to higher frequencies around the midpoint of the recording. Why is this? It’s the entrance to a different region in Ganymede’s magnetosphere. Co-researcher William Kurth of the University of Iowa explains. He says the change in frequency is the shift from the night side to the day side of Ganymede.

The Juno spacecraft mission launched on August 5, 2011. It arrived at the planet nearly five years later, on July 4, 2016. Its goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. The sound of the moon Ganymede is one of its major milestones.

The 34th trip of the mission around Jupiter, Juno came very close. Just 1,038 kilometers from the surface of the Jupiterian moon. It was moving at a relative speed of 67,000 kilometers per hour.

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