The microphone University of Iowa scientists mounted on a robotic spacecraft that’s now orbiting Saturn is sending back spooky sounds. The noises might be fitting for a haunted house or maybe the soundtrack from a 1950s U-F-O movie. The Cassini spacecraft is beaming home these sounds direct from the ringed planet. They aren’t sounds you’d actually hear if you could somehow survive to hear things on Saturn. Cassini’s microphone is recording these audible oddities emitting from Saturn’s magnetic fields. U-of-I physicist Don Gurnett helped build parts of the spacecraft and says the radio emissions, called Saturn kilometric radiation, are generated along the planet’s auroras, or northern and southern lights. It’s a phenomenon much like Earth’s northern lights. Cassini is on a four-year mission studying Saturn, its rings and many moons.
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