NASA records bone-chilling sound in gap between Saturn's rings


As NASA's Cassini nears the end of its nearly two decades of space exploration, there's no doubt it has sent back some remarkable visuals of a seldom seen corner of our solar system.

But just a few months ahead of the craft's imminent suicide via controlled crash into Saturn's surface, Cassini gave us a rare glimpse into the sounds of the planet it orbits.

While passing through the space between Saturn's rings, aka "the big empty" on April 26, Cassini's Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument was utilized to record data about the region, where "no spacecraft had ever passed through" before.

According to NASA, RPWS was able to detect the hits of hundreds of ring and dust particles per second when it crossed the plane just outside of Saturn's main rings -- but when it entered the "big empty," it detected almost nothing.

The April 26 RPWS data was then converted into an audio file, which sounds vaguely like scattered, isolated whistling played over a white noise machine.

The thought of such a track being recorded in a pitch-black environment 746 million miles away is pretty chilling, if we do say so ourselves -- and scientists on the project seem to agree.

"It was a bit disorienting -- we weren't hearing what we expected to hear," said William Kurth, RPWS team lead at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Sounds like somewhere we wouldn't want to be caught alone at night.

(h/t Gizmodo)

See more images taken by Cassini: