James Cortes, a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, described the sound as “quiet or gentle rain.”
“In the case of a solar flare, it’s like detecting a thunderstorm, and then it returns to a gentle shower,” he said.
Stella Koch Ocker, a doctoral student at the university leading the research, said, “We are detecting a faint, continuous hum of stellar gas. It is very dizzy and monotonous because it is on a short frequency band.”
Voyager 1’s Odyssey was launched in 1977, and the spacecraft and its twin, Voyager 2, were launched into orbit around the solar system’s gas giant planets.
After retrieving dazzling postcard shots of Jupiter’s gigantic red dot and Saturn’s glowing rings, Voyager 2 hopscotched with Uranus and Neptune. Meanwhile, Voyager 1 used Saturn as a gravitational slingshot.
It is now about 15 billion miles from Earth.
Voyager 1 is about the size of a compact car and features magnetic fields, cosmic rays, and solar wind instruments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report