AURORAL ROAR: The solar energy behind visual displays like this aurora borealis can be mathematically translated into sound waves, a process known as 'sonification.' (Photo: NASA)
In space, no one can hear you scream — but no one can hear anything in the vacuum of space, thanks to a lack of molecules to carry sound waves. The sun is out there screaming up a storm, for example, and nobody hears a peep.
Until now, that is. The video below contains spooky sounds from the March 7 solar storm, created by sun particles smashing into NASA's Messenger and SOHO spacecraft. Using a process called "sonification," University of Michigan graduate student Robert Alexander took these visual data — the wavelength and amplitude of light — and converted them into the pitch and volume of sound. The results are eerie:
To compare those sounds with sights from the same storm, check out two more videos below — one shows the storm itself on March 6, and the other shows its effects on Earth three days later, in the form of aurora australis over New Zealand:
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.