Voyager 1 is currently flying through an “interstellar medium”, far from the influence of our sun. There he observed a kind of constant buzzing, the sound of the universe outside our solar system.
Voyager 1 was launched into space 44 years ago. The space probe is the most distant human-made object, about 14.5 billion kilometers. On-board hardware detects a static buzz. The sound appears to come from interstellar gases or plasma waves that are present between stars in largely empty space.
“It’s very faint and monotonous because it’s in a narrow frequency band,” said Stella Koch-Auker, a PhD student in astronomy at Cornell University who discovered the resurgence. “We observe the continuous, faint hum of interstellar gas.”
The results indicate that there are more interstellar gases than we previously thought. Scientists are not sure what activity could cause the sound, but they suggest it might be the result of “thermally induced plasma oscillations.”
Researchers hope to use resonance to understand how the interstellar medium interacts with the boundaries of the solar system. They also want to know how those boundaries – known as the heliosphere – are formed.
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