Thursday, March 24, 2011

Saturnian "speech"

These spooky sounds do vaguely resemble distorted speech, even in their unmodified form. But this reveals nothing about any life-forms on Saturn (an unlikely notion); rather, it reveals a lot about the way humans perceive sounds. Our pattern-seeking instincts cause us to hear "speech"-- even if we can't comprehend its "message"-- in random natural noises such as wind.

Update: Saturn's radio signals are asymmetrical:
Recent data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show that the variation in radio waves controlled by the planet's rotation is different in the northern and southern hemispheres. Moreover, the northern and southern rotational variations also appear to change with the Saturnian seasons, and the hemispheres have actually swapped rates.

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