Saturn's beautiful rings and many moons are an impressive sight to view through a telescope. But as NASA's Voyager and then Cassini spacecraft discovered, as they rocketed close to the planet, Saturn also is surrounded by an invisible web of radio waves that are generated by high-energy particles in the planet's electromagnetic field.
Cassini captured a number of recordings of these radio waves, emissions similar to Earth's auroral radio emissions, during the more than a decade it orbited the planet, before it plummeted into Saturn's atmosphere in 2017. In addition to sounding a bit eerie, the radio waves are the cause of a mystery about the planet's rotational rate.
On this episode of Audible Cosmos, we tune into some of Saturn's radio emissions picked up by the Cassini spacecraft.
- Hear the original sound of Saturn's radio waves.
- Hear an explanation of the sound of Earth's auroras — and listen to it.
Audible Cosmos is produced and reported by Amanda Font and Lowell Robinson.