Juno probe records "ghostly-sounding transmissions" from above Jupiter

The probe has also captured the first-ever pictures of the planet's north pole

Juno probe records "ghostly-sounding transmissions" from above Jupiter

NASA's Juno spacecraft captured this view as it closed in on Jupiter's north pole, about two hours before closest approach. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

A NASA spacecraft has beamed the ghostly sounds of the planet Jupiter back to Earth.

Juno - which took five years to reach the planet - recorded the whistling and whooshing noises of auroras above its north pole.

NASA describes them as "ghostly-sounding transmissions", and has converted them into the audio frequency range for human listening.

The radio signals were collected as the craft got closer than ever before earlier this week - flying past at around 4,200 km from the planet's clouds.

Bill Kurth, co-investigator for the Waves instrument from the University of Iowa, said: “Jupiter is talking to us in a way only gas-giant worlds can. Waves detected the signature emissions of the energetic particles that generate the massive auroras which encircle Jupiter’s north pole.

"These emissions are the strongest in the solar system. Now we are going to try to figure out where the electrons come from that are generating them," he added.

Juno has also been sending images of the planet back to Earth following the flyby, including the first-ever pictures of the north pole.

Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, described the pole as "like nothing we have seen or imagined before".

“It’s bluer in color up there than other parts of the planet, and there are a lot of storms," he explained. "There is no sign of the latitudinal bands or zone and belts that we are used to - this image is hardly recognizable as Jupiter."