I have always been fascinated with our universe with all its mysteries and wonders. So like many other space geeks, I was excited to learn that NASA received confirmation that the Voyager 1 Spacecraft has finally reached interstellar space. After 35 years of space flight, Voyager 1 left our solar system around August 25th 2012.
Even more sensational news was that we now know what interstellar space sounds like. NASA has advised the sounds are produced by the vibration of dense plasma, or ionized gases which were captured by the probe’s plasma wave instrument.
The principle investigator for the Voyager plasma wave investigation Don Gurnett stated “When you hear this recording, please recognize that this is an historic event. It’s the first time that we’ve ever made a recording of sounds in interstellar space”.
Voyager 1 launched on Sept. 5, 1977, about two weeks after its twin Voyager 2 was launched. The two spacecraft toured our solar system, taking close-up looks at the Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune systems. Their original mission ended in 1989, but the probes continued to explore the outer reaches of the solar system.
NASA and the Voyager team still communicates with the two spacecraft every day, but the probes’ extreme distances pose a challenge. At the speed of light, it takes about 17 hours for a message to reach Earth from Voyager 1, which is currently about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from the sun. For many of us this is absolutely remarkable.
Take a listen to the eerie high pitch sounds of interstellar space recorded by Voyager 1 below.
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