The Rosetta spacecraft and Philae lander have provided scientist with tons of data about the nature of comets. We already discussed the discovery that comets emit hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, which create a terrible odor. But, what may be more interesting, is that they make sound.
Now this is not sound as you would typically think of it. After all, you cannot hear anything in space since there are no air molecules for it to travel through. Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (what?) picked up vibrations in the magnetic field around 67P (the comet) which resulted in frequencies between 40-50 millihertz. This is far below the frequency in which the human ear picks up sound, but if you alter the frequency up to one that the human ear can hear…voila! Comet music.
The sound is a series of clicks that range in frequency and timbre. It’s quite amazing to listen to. It’s something none of the scientists expected to find and they’re still not exactly sure what causes it to happen.
What else will we find out about comets? If the scientists at the European Space Agency can make contact with Philae today, we’re sure to gain much more valuable insights.