The Triumphal Hymn: Comet Sings Mysterious Sound to Rosetta

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Comet sings mysterious sound: Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered a mysterious ‘song’ that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is singing into space.

Listen to the triumphal and welcome hymn of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko!

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Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered a mysterious ‘song’ that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is singing into space. Artist impression by ESA/Rosetta/NavCam

Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium contains of five instruments to measure the plasma environment surrounding Comet 67P/C-G.

According to first measurements, the comet emits a strange and mysterious sound – at 40-50 millihertz. This is far below human hearing, which typically picks up sound between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. So to make the music audible to the human ear, the frequencies have been increased by a factor of about 10,000.

The comet’s music was heard clearly by the magnetometer experiment (RPC-Mag) for the first time in August, when Rosetta drew to within 100 km of 67P/C-G. The noise must be produced in some way by the activity of the comet.

However, the precise physical mechanism behind the oscillations remains a mystery.

Listen to other spooky sounds of space!

Maybe it’s simply the comet singing a welcome and triumphal hymn to prepare the landing of Philae, today, November 12, 2014!

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