“We should have never landed on that comet.” That’s what our descendants, the sole survivors of the human race, are going to whisper to themselves over the dying embers of civilisation. Wednesday’s landing of Philae, the Rosetta satellite’s landing probe, on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has meant triumph for the European Space Agency, but it’s also resurrected a slightly unsettling fact about the four-billion-year-old comet: it sings.
The ESA uploaded a clip of sounds being emitted by the comet, boosted in frequency by a factor of 10,000 so they are audible to the human ear:
In a statement, the space agency said: “This is exciting because it is completely new to us. We did not expect this and we are still working to understand the physics of what is happening.”
The signal was first detected in August when the Rosetta satellite arrived about 62 miles from the 2.5 mile-wide hunk of ice and rock.
Scientists currently believe that the sounds must be produced in some way “by the activity of the comet, as it releases neutral particles into space where they become electrically charged due to a process called ionisation”.
Obviously, ionisation doesn’t make for a very compelling explanation for these eerie clicking sounds. What does? THE HUMAN KILLING MACHINE FROM PREDATOR.
Here is what Predator sounds like:
Yep, we’re sold.
In any case, we’ll probably figure out the reason for Comet 67P’s unsettling song slash impending call of doom. According to the ESA, Philae has just stabilised on its surface and is broadcasting pictures. So we’ll find out soon if it’s actually populated with an extraterrestial race of camouflage-enabled super predators.