January 17th, 2005



I heard this piece of sound briefly yesterday and was overjoyed to find it posted on the ESA site for the Cassini-Huygens mission. This is the first time I've ever heard a sound from beyond the Earth. They've posted two pieces on the site and I've hosted them elsewhere should they vanish in the meantime. The descriptions are their own:

Speeding through Titan's haze

This recording is a laboratory reconstruction of the sounds heard by Huygens' microphones. Several sound samples, taken at different times during the descent, are here combined together and give a realistic reproduction of what a traveller on board Huygens would have heard during one minute of the descent through Titan's atmosphere. [Enough with the remixes, give us the original recordings!]

Radar echos from Titan's surface

This recording was produced by converting into audible sounds some of the radar echoes received by Huygens during the last few kilometres of its descent onto Titan. As the probe approaches the ground, both the pitch and intensity increase. Scientists will use intensity of the echoes to speculate about the nature of the surface. [Err, it's getting closer?]

I can only hope that they offer us some longer and higher definition clips from the surface in due course. It's great to have a successful piece of space exploration for a change. Allowing Blur's involvement in Beagle caused it to be sucked into the death throes of Cool Blaritania. There's nothing there, move along, nothing to see, hurry home...