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Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy Friday — Here's What a Comet Sounds Like

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

So Wednesday, Nov. 12 was not a good day for news stories that did not concern Kim Kardashian — at least in the U.S. Yes, in the eternal fight for Internet eyeballs, that lady's butt was the victor, and pretty much everything else lost. Among the stories that seemingly slipped through the crack (sorry) is the fact that, hey, the European Space Agency just successfully landed a man-made data-gathering object on a fucking comet that is hurtling through space

One of the first dispatches from the Philae Lander comes from the Rosetta orbiter's Plasma Consortium (made up of five instruments on that collect a variety of information about the environment around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko — now say that 10 times fast) was a capture of sounds created by oscillations in the comet's magnetic field — for all intents and purposes, a comet song. The sounds are being emitted at 40 to 50 millihertz, which is well below the range humans can hear, so science went and increased the frequency by a factor of about 10,000 for us.

Give it a listen. Also, now taking bets on who'll be the first bedroom producer to spin this thing into indie-electronic gold. We've heard much worse. 
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About The Author

Emma Silvers

Emma Silvers is SF Weekly's former Music Editor.


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