SCIENCE

What Does Life In Space Sound Like? Astronaut Sends Sounds Of The ISS Back To Earth (AUDIO)

IN SPACE - JULY 12:  In this handout image provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Internat
IN SPACE - JULY 12: In this handout image provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the International Space Station's Cupola, backdropped against black space, a horizon scene and various components of the orbiting outpost, including the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module, right, along with two 'parked' Russian spacecraft -- a Soyuz and a progress supply ship July 12, 2011 in space. Space shuttle Atlantis has embarked on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station where it will deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module packed with supplies and spare parts. This was the final mission of the space shuttle program, which began on April 12, 1981 with the launch of Colombia. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

If you've ever wondered what it's like to live on a hunk of metal orbiting the Earth at hundreds of miles an hour, Col. Chris Hadfield has an answer for you.

Apparently it sounds a lot like a really loud hair dryer.

The Canadian colonel, who's currently in the midst of a six-month stint aboard the International Space Station during which he will become the first Canadian to command a spaceship, sent back an audio clip from the craft. He collected the recording of the ambient background noise within the U.S. lab portion of the craft after being asked by many on Twitter.

As commenters have pointed out, it's a pretty loud existence. But the source of the sound is also what's keeping the astronauts alive and working hard: The noise is largely created by life support systems and the 52 computers controlling all of the space station's systems at any given time.

According to Hadfield, who responded to The Huffington Post via Twitter from the ISS, the sound of all that machinery might be comparable to what it's like being in the womb.

By comparison, spacewalks are rather silent, without the sound of machinery whirring about.

According to Hadfield, the noisiest spot on the ship is the toilet, while the quietest is within the sleep pods, which are quiet enough to record music in. (And yeah, he's done that.)

Since there's no air in space, the noise is not created by the movement of the station itself. For the most part, the ISS travels pretty silently through space.

But space itself isn't entirely devoid of sound. While there's nothing audible to the human ear out there, there are sound waves traveling through space, albeit at extremely low frequencies. These sounds can only be heard after being captured by computers and compressed to the audible range. With technology like this, scientists can occasionally hone in on the sounds of cosmic entities, such as black holes or dying stars.

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