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.
Click one of the icons below (depending on your preferred file format) to download all the space sounds for use in your films.
If you use these space sounds in your films we would appreciate you including the following credits:
Before main credits:
This film features satellite recordings of sound from space which have been made audible to the human ear.
Scientists study these sounds as they can affect our everyday technology, such as mobile phones, GPS systems, TVs and weather forecasts.
For more information see bit.ly/SSFXshort
During main credits:
Space sounds provided by Dr Martin Archer, Queen Mary University of London as part of the SSFX (Space Sound Effects) project
Data courtesy of NOAA
SSFX is supported by the QMUL Centre for Public Engagement, Science and Technology Facilities Council, and European Geosciences Union
If you create anything using the space sounds, please do let us know – we’d love to hear from you!