Tuesday, July 5

This is how Ganymede sounds: NASA shares an audio made with the data collected by Juno when flying over the moon of Jupiter

Juno Mission Researchers they have come up with a surprise at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, one of those that just a couple of decades ago would have sounded like fantasy to even the most daring science fiction author: an audio track generated from data collected by the probe while flying over Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter. The audio lasts barely 50 seconds, but it takes us to another “neighborhood” in our Solar System.

Presenting the “soundtrack” for the Jovian satellite was Scott Bolton of the Southwest Reserach Institute in San Antonio and principal investigator of the Juno mission. The audio, detailed, was generated based on data collected on June 7, when the ship passed near the Ganymede. The data –as specified by NASA in a statement– were captured with Juno’s Waves instrument, which tunes the electricity and magnetic radio waves produced in Jupiter’s magnetosphere. Its frequency was then switched to audio range, allowing the track to be generated.

A “wild” soundtrack, according to its authors

This soundtrack is wild enough as if to make you feel as if you were riding while Juno sails alongside Ganymede for the first time in more than two decades “, explained Bolton in statements collected by the US agency:” If you listen carefully, you can perceive the abrupt change at higher frequencies around from the midpoint of recording, which represents entry into a different region in Ganymede’s magnetosphere ”.

Beyond how curious, anecdotal – or “wild”, in Bolton’s own words – the audio may be, the data collected helps experts to better understand the satellite of Jupiter. “It is possible that the change in frequency shortly after the closest approximation is due to passing from the night side to the day side of Ganymede”Says William Kurth of the University of Iowa City and one of the principal investigators on the Waves studies.

As detailed by NASA, during his thirty-fourth mission trip around Jupiter,the ship came to be just over a thousand kilometers —1038 km, to be precise — from the surface of the Jovian moon. Its relative speed of travel was 67,000 kilometers per hour.

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That of Ganymede is not in any case the first audio that allows us close your eyes and imagine what the soundtrack from space is like. A little over a year ago, coinciding with Halloween, NASA published a library full of space sounds, such as the recordings captured by InSight on Mars, the sound of earthquakes on the red planet, the solar winds in its satellites or even the waves of radio and plasma from Jupiter’s magnetosphere. Thanks to ESA we also know what a solar storm sounds like against our magnetic field.

In addition to “listening” to Ganymede, the Juno mission allows us to know in much more detail what the gas giant is like. Its researchers have produced the most detailed map to date of Jupiter’s magnetic field and shed new knowledge about its zonal winds, the dynamics of its atmosphere, or the so-called Great Red and Blue Spots, a magnetic anomaly on the planet’s equator. the latter, what according to the data collected by the mission, is moving east at a speed of 4 cm per second.

Cover image | NASA


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