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Otto Piechowski
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Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
How would the sun sound if....
      #6131474 - 10/11/13 04:05 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


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6131488 - 10/11/13 04:10 PM

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

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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6131492 - 10/11/13 04:12 PM

That was funny!

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GregLee1
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/21/13

Loc: Waimanalo, HI
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6131509 - 10/11/13 04:19 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 ...

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scopethis
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: GregLee1]
      #6131639 - 10/11/13 05:39 PM

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

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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #6131694 - 10/11/13 06:14 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.

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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #6131988 - 10/11/13 09:10 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?

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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #6131992 - 10/11/13 09:13 PM

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

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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6132147 - 10/11/13 10:30 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?

Otto


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ColoHank
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Reged: 06/07/07

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Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6132303 - 10/12/13 12:23 AM

Quote:

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.


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #6132504 - 10/12/13 06:03 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.


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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6132521 - 10/12/13 06:45 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.com/watch?v=ErlGCKxx7wQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player


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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: 1965healy]
      #6132528 - 10/12/13 07:03 AM

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

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FirstSightModerator
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #6132644 - 10/12/13 09:22 AM

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

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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #6132815 - 10/12/13 11:06 AM

Quote:

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




Solar chicken?


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6132824 - 10/12/13 11:12 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.

Edited by ColoHank (10/12/13 11:13 AM)


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6132826 - 10/12/13 11:14 AM

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

http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~stark/Seminars/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:

Quote:

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.





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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #6133100 - 10/12/13 01:22 PM

BUFFALO solar chicken!

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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6133107 - 10/12/13 01:27 PM

Quote:


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...


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #6133144 - 10/12/13 02:03 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


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GlennLeDrew
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6133249 - 10/12/13 03:09 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?

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StarWars
Mr. Postmaster Man
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Reged: 11/26/03

Loc: At the Gym >Spudtastic<
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6133997 - 10/12/13 10:40 PM




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


Forever....


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scopethis
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: StarWars]
      #6134876 - 10/13/13 12:06 PM

it would sound like a derailing freight train..

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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6135473 - 10/13/13 05:42 PM

Quote:

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.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6135532 - 10/13/13 06:06 PM

Mr. Davidson,

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

Otto


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GlennLeDrew
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Reged: 06/18/08

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Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6135549 - 10/13/13 06:18 PM

ATM = atmosphere. One ATM pressure = 1013.2 millibars = 29.92 inches of mercury = 762mm of mercury = 14.7 pounds per square inch. (If I correctly remember those numbers, that is. )

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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6135826 - 10/13/13 08:56 PM

I found a few online formulae, but don't trust them to be correct, even approximately, with my limited understanding.

Needed assumptions / parameters:
- the issue chosen is sound transmission in outer layers of the sun
- the hydrogen is therefore monatomic / ionic (not diatomic molecular hydrogen)
- the adiabatic constant = 5/3 (for helium and monatomic hydrogen)
- ? helium / hydrogen ratio (affects average molecular mass)
- temp range:
-- photosphere 5,700K (75% hydrogen, 24% helium))
-- chromosphere 20,000K - 1,000,000K (% helium?)
-- corona 1,000,000K - 20,000,000K (% helium?)
- all layers are plasma, not gas (the formulae for speed of sound in a gas and a plasma are different)

High-altitude simulation studies indicate that human hearing is unaffected by use at down to 1/4 standard atmospheric pressure - both in sensitivity and localization (determining direction of sound source).

I'm not sure the speed of sound actually affects our ability to hear, except for localization and, I think, partial loss of stereo effects.

The impact of a hydrogen atmosphere on listening to your quadrophonic vinyl release of Tubular Bells while dropping acid is uncertain, but worth experimentation.


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StarWars
Mr. Postmaster Man
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Reged: 11/26/03

Loc: At the Gym >Spudtastic<
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #6135902 - 10/13/13 09:42 PM



Sound travels at 750 mph from 92 million miles...


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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: StarWars]
      #6135962 - 10/13/13 10:17 PM

so it would sound like a 14 y.o.



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derangedhermit
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Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: StarWars]
      #6136000 - 10/13/13 10:36 PM

Quote:



Sound travels at 750 mph from 92 million miles...




According to one web toolbox, the speed of sound in 20,000K helium is about 19,000 mph, and the trip would take about 200 days. I think it isn't using quite the right formula, but anyway...


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Otto Piechowski
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Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #6136218 - 10/14/13 02:11 AM

Anthony,

What is "14 y.o."?

Otto


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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6136297 - 10/14/13 05:30 AM


Ottoman,

92,000,000miles/ 750 miles/hr /24hr/day / 365days/yr.



Edited by Mister T (10/14/13 05:30 AM)


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Andy Taylor
Twisted, but in a Good Way
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Reged: 09/24/08

Loc: Epsom - UK
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #6137184 - 10/14/13 02:32 PM

I'd like to think that it sounds like sizzlin' bacon...

Probably just very loud "white" noise.


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Andy Taylor]
      #6138319 - 10/15/13 04:00 AM

OK, I spent another 10 minutes on this. For those who want to pursue calculating the speed of sound in plasma, the Wikipedia explanation and equation is here.

Note that just below that link, the text says "When sound spreads out evenly in all directions in three dimensions, the intensity drops in proportion to the inverse square of the distance." This is more than halfway, geometrically, accurate for sounds coming from the "surface" of the Sun toward Earth. Given that drop in intensity, the distance involved, and the low pressure, it seems clear to me that no non-impulse sound coming from there could possibly be heard (or, probably, measured) by any creature on Earth. (Pressure is relevant since it limits the amplitude of sounds that look like sine waves - the pressure cannot exceed 2x the ambient pressure, since it cannot drop below 0, but an impulse sound ("bang") does not have this limit.)

So the answer is, unless it is a mighty explosion in our direction, much louder than any sound ever made on earth (e.g. Krakatoa) we would hear nothing.

If any part of this is wrong, I'm quite confident someone will be along directly to dispute it.

Along the way, I read about the transition of Voyager 1 moving from the heliosphere into interstellar space. You can listen to a recording. But it wasn't sound that was actually recorded, it was the vibration of electrons in the very thin plasma that changed when it entered interstellar space. Still, it was / is at least partially in the right frequency range for hearing.

Also there is a completely unrelated iOS and Android app called Plasma Sounds. Fun to play with, and free. My Google-foo is weak.


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GregLee1
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/21/13

Loc: Waimanalo, HI
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6138868 - 10/15/13 11:49 AM

Quote:

(Pressure is relevant since it limits the amplitude of sounds that look like sine waves - the pressure cannot exceed 2x the ambient pressure, since it cannot drop below 0, but an impulse sound ("bang") does not have this limit.)




Maybe someone could explain to me "sounds that look like sine waves"? The context here suggests that compression is somehow balanced with rarefaction. Or perhaps periodic is meant?


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: GregLee1]
      #6138929 - 10/15/13 12:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

(Pressure is relevant since it limits the amplitude of sounds that look like sine waves - the pressure cannot exceed 2x the ambient pressure, since it cannot drop below 0, but an impulse sound ("bang") does not have this limit.)




Maybe someone could explain to me "sounds that look like sine waves"? The context here suggests that compression is somehow balanced with rarefaction. Or perhaps periodic is meant?



Perhaps. I got tired of writing "non-impulse".


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6144212 - 10/18/13 03:27 AM

Let's recast like this: The sun is a continuous fusion reaction, like a Hydrogen bomb going off, with alot of other things thrown in. So, if you could hear it would it sound like a thermonuclear detonation of huge scale or not?

/Ira


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Ira]
      #6144285 - 10/18/13 05:52 AM

I think not, out at the photosphere. The fusion is only taking place in a small central core. At the outer layers, there's convection currents, very low frequency resonances, etc. An apparent "thermonuclear detonation of huge scale" at that location would blow all that away, literally, and it doesn't. It's more like a pot boilng out there. Remember it takes a very long time for the equivalent of a photon released at the core to work its way through all that mass to the photosphere.

When you got to an altitude, working from the outside in, where there was enough pressure to hear something, I can't imagine it is silent; but I have found nothing on what the spectral power density in the audible range might be.


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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6144298 - 10/18/13 06:19 AM

the nuclear fusion at the core is effective kept in a "pressure cooker" that is the gravity of the mass of the outer layers of the sun.

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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: How would the sun sound if.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #6147226 - 10/19/13 06:27 PM

Bummer. This may make me give up astronomy.

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