NASA Voyager 1 space probe detected a class of humming sounds in the Universe outside the Solar System. According to a new study published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy, the noise is constant and the result of wave emissions from plasma and interstellar gas. They were captured by a set of instruments on board the ship, in particular the Plasma Wave Subsystem. Such a device has the function of analyzing the environment in its surroundings, composed of two antennas.
“[The sound] is very weak and monotonous, as it is in a narrow frequency bandwidth,” wrote Stella Koch Ocker, a scientist at Cornell University (USA) responsible for the discovery. “We never had a chance to analyze it before. Now we know that we don’t need a random event related to the Sun to measure interstellar plasma, ”added Shami Chatterjee, a researcher involved in the study.
In this way, the findings reveal an environment of particles and radiation much more turbulent than previously imagined. According to the researchers, the next work will be to analyze how tinnitus interacts with the Solar System border, known as heliopause.
In addition, they hope to gather more information about the density of interstellar space and highlight the importance of future missions to bring more clues about the origin of stars.
Continuous relevance of the space probe
Voyager 1 was launched in 1977 with the mission of exploring Jupiter and Saturn, but has been expanded by the space agency to study deep space. In 2012, it was the first human construction to reach the interstellar medium, a region beyond the influence of the Sun marked by low density of matter.
It is currently more than 22 million kilometers from Earth. Because of this, its ability to send data is limited, providing around 160 bits per second. This information is received by the Deep Space Network, an international network for communications and monitoring of space missions.