Is there sound coming from the Sun?
Hello, I am an amateur astronomer. I also enjoy working with sound and harmonic ratios. My question is, does sound emanate from the sun? Would such a sound wave create nodes that would allow for a planet's distance from the sun?
There are definitely some sound waves propagating through the Sun's interior. Because of the composition of the Sun (basically, a big ball of gas), sound waves can propagate quite easily in it. The study of such waves is called helioseismology. By observing oscillations at the surface of the Sun, astronomers try to figure out the patterns of the waves inside, which tells them a lot about the internal structure of the Sun (the same can be applied to other stars as well).
However, this doesn't mean that there is some sound coming from the Sun! Unlike light waves, sound waves cannot travel in vacuum: they need a medium in which they can travel. So since space is very close to empty, sound waves cannot propagate. Check out the previously answered question about this.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 26359 times since May 2, 2003.
Last modified: May 2, 2003 9:21:31 AM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)