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How would the sun sound if....

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#1 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:05 PM

Suppose there was an earth like atmosphere extending from the surface of our planet to the sun. What would one hear of the massive amount of noise being generated by the sun, at a distance of 1 A.U.?

To make the question only slightly more real, suppose there was a cloud of gas wafting through space and it happened to cover our solar system; maybe the density of say the ring nebula or the Great nebula in Orion (which I believe would be rather tenuous clouds). What, if anything would we then hear?

Otto

#2 PeterR280

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:10 PM

The crack of dawn would take on a whole new meaning.

#3 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:12 PM

That was funny!

#4 GregLee1

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:19 PM

Crackly roars. Actually, I recall from a short time ago a documentary TV show which purported to play the sound of the sun. Not quite what you mean, though, probably, because it was just electromagnetic noise from the Sun, not a direct rendition of sound on the Sun. However, aside from some practical problems, I don't see any difficulty in detecting sounds on the Sun. Are you worried that the sounds might not be of sufficient amplitude for a human to hear? You'd have to be more explicit about the conditions ...

#5 scopethis

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 04:39 PM

it would sound like lots of bacon frying....

#6 ColoHank

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 05:14 PM

I think the Sun would sound more like an immense gravity-bound hydrogen bomb continuously exploding than it would a tiny moth landing on a marshmallow. Unless, of course, it fell over in a forest and there was nobody there to hear it.

#7 Mister T

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:10 PM

If a space explore screams in outer space, but does not make a sound, and there is no there to not hear it, was it really silent? :poke:

#8 llanitedave

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:13 PM

If it sounds anything like The Dark Side of the Moon, I'm buying it.

#9 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:30 PM

Perhaps, what I am thinking about is just how loud is the sun. But, anyway, back to the idea that's banging around in my head, I know from experience that the further something is distant the fainter it sounds; e.g. a thunder clap from a lightening strike in my back yard is much louder than the same a mile away. Is this simply an inverse square thing, or is there more to sound diminution than just an inverse square effect?

And then, applying those effects to 93 million miles of distance; would the inverse square and whatever other effects there are moderating sound, be sufficient to overcome the immense noise of the sun?

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#10 ColoHank

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:23 PM

And then, applying those effects to 93 million miles of distance; would the inverse square and whatever other effects there are moderating sound, be sufficient to overcome the immense noise of the sun?



Sound waves, no matter how loud when propagated, can't travel through the vacuum of space. There'd be no sound beyond the Sun's atmosphere.

#11 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 05:03 AM

The Sun's surface (photosphere) is a reasonably good vacuum by laboratory standards, and the corona immediately above it is a *very* good vacuum. If by some magic you could introduce a column of air between Earth and the Sun, the supersonic gas motion on the Sun's surface would create sonic booms, I should think. But over 1AU, the sound probably (?) would be attenuated to inaudibility.

Of course, if the inner solar system were to be filled with air at a pressure of 1 atmosphere, the mass of a 1AU diameter sphere would be 2 * 10^33 kg, or 1,000 times the Sun's mass. That gas would quickly collapse down to the Sun, increasing its mass by a factor of perhaps 200, the remaining gas then being blown out of the solar system.

#12 1965healy

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 05:45 AM

We hear "sound" as a pressure wave traveling thru air that vibrates the structures in our ears, if there is no air to move there will be no "sound" that can reach our ears.

The sun may in a romantic sense have a "sound" that we imagine. It may "sound" like bacon frying or it may "sound" like a celestial choir. It can "sound" like whatever you choose. I think it "sounds" like Martha and the Vandellas singing Heat Wave.

http://www.youtube.c...be_gdata_player

#13 Mister T

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:03 AM

If I had a titanium tongue 1AU long what would the sun taste like????

#14 FirstSight

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:22 AM

Somewhere, there's a monastary of Zen monks studying this thread for fresh ideas for koans to contemplate.

#15 llanitedave

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:06 AM

If I had a titanium tongue 1AU long what would the sun taste like????


Solar chicken?

#16 ColoHank

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:12 AM

It would taste just like water would taste if water molecules didn't have any oxygen in them. Some might compare the taste to that of the contents of the gas bladders inside the Hindenburg just before it caught on fire. But hot. Very hot.

#17 llanitedave

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:14 AM

All joking aside, the Sun does create acoustic energy waves.

http://www.stat.berk.../Aaas/helio.htm

The study of this energy is called Helioseismology, and it's a valuable tool for analyzing the solar interior. In the strictest sense, these are sound waves, but in the strictest nonsense, it's meaningless to ask what they sound like. It's another case of analogy carried to absurdity.

The paper I linked does supply one entertaining analogy, though:

Helioseismology is rather like trying to understand how a piano is built from the sounds that it makes when you drop it down a flight of stairs.



#18 Mister T

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 12:22 PM

BUFFALO solar chicken!

#19 Mister T

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 12:27 PM

Of course, if the inner solar system were to be filled with air at a pressure of 1 atmosphere, the mass of a 1AU diameter sphere would be 2 * 10^33 kg, or 1,000 times the Sun's mass. That gas would quickly collapse down to the Sun, increasing its mass by a factor of perhaps 200, the remaining gas then being blown out of the solar system.


So the original cloud of interstellar medium that condensed to form our solar system was at least 1000x thinner than out atmosphere??

You just blew my mind... :foreheadslap:

#20 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 01:03 PM

Let's try this variation on the original post.

It is a couple/few billion years from now. Our sun has become a red giant and has swelled so that it's outer layer now extends beyond the orbit of the earth; i.e. the earth is within the sun.

Now, let us do a science fiction thing and suppose that by that time technology has reached a point where a device can be constructed which can hear in the same range as the human ear and can withstand whatever the heat, temperatures, and chemical conditions of the earth are within the red giant sun.

What would the sound of the (that) sun be as heard by that ear?

Otto

#21 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 02:09 PM

At the red giant stage, the outer envelope is an even better 'vacuum' than the photosphere is now. And of course the Earth would be flying through that thin gas at near 30 km/s. What would be the sound speed in the Sun's thin envelope? How efficiently is sound propagated?

#22 StarWars

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:40 PM




The Sun will consume all of the oxygen and any sound would go silent... :bawling:


Forever.... :o

#23 scopethis

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:06 AM

it would sound like a derailing freight train..

#24 derangedhermit

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:42 PM

At the red giant stage, the outer envelope is an even better 'vacuum' than the photosphere is now. And of course the Earth would be flying through that thin gas at near 30 km/s. What would be the sound speed in the Sun's thin envelope? How efficiently is sound propagated?

I can't figure it out well enough to get even an approximate idea of the speed of sound. It's mostly hydrogen, almost all the rest is helium. Very high (but varying by several orders of magnitude) temperature in various outer layers, which means faster speed of sound. Very low density gas (again varying by a lot by layer), which means slower speed of sound.

Due to the low pressure, I'm guessing the maximum amplitude of a continuous (non-impulse) sound will be very low. The human ear can detect a sound of one-billionth of one ATM differential, so that may be good enough. Otherwise we may need to use owls or elephants.

As far as equipment, I suspect that since a Shure SM57 microphone can get through a year of Pink Floyd touring unscathed, it can handle anything else the universe can throw at it. If not, we can ask Hotblack Desiato of Disaster Area what they use for concerts, but we'll have to wait until he's not spending a year dead for tax reasons.

#25 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:06 PM

Mr. Davidson,

What does ATM mean? (I mean,other than the bank thingy).

Otto






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