The movie Alien may have told you

“In space no-one can hear you scream”

or that there is no sound in space, because space is a vacuum and so there’s no medium for sound to travel through. But space is never completely empty and it turns out there are sounds in space. In fact, sound waves in the space around the Earth are very important to our continued technological existence, hence why space physicists at Queen Mary research them. They also sound pretty weird…

Ordinarily we can’t hear these sounds in space. That is because the pressure variations are so small at -100dB sound pressure level (the human hearing threshold is about +60dB). In fact, you’d need an eardrum comparable to the size of the Earth to hear them. Their ultra-low frequencies are also way below what our auditory system can pick up. However, by amplifying satellite measurements of these sounds from space and squashing them in time so a whole year becomes just six minutes, they can be made audible. For more on the science and research, check our blog for regular updates.

We’ve made these (now audible) space sounds available to the public and particularly for filmmakers to use in their films i.e. Space Sound Effects (SSFX). So download the sounds and get creative.

Download

Click one of the icons below (depending on your preferred file format) to download all the space sounds for use in your films.

Ogg (179MB) MP3 (86MB)

Thanks to NASA, NOAA and Howard Singer for the satellite measurements