We can feel the sun and we can see the sun. But, can we hear it? What does the sun sound like?
Solar physicists from Stanford University recorded acoustical pressure waves using an instrument called the Michelson Doppler Imager. This imager is currently mounted on the SOHPO spacecraft, which circulates the sun, and is approximately one million miles away from Earth. Using this instrument, the physicists recorded the noise on the solar surface. And we are lucky we can’t hear it!
The sun makes noise due to its constant flow of hot material on the surface and then the sinking of cooled material toward the center. On the surface, this noise is estimated to be 10x to the 100x the power of speakers at a rock concert! If the sounds were able to pass through space, they would still be 100 dB by the time they reached us here on Earth. But good news—we would still not be able to hear the sun, as the waves emitted are at frequencies too low for the human ear.
Scientists note that the sun’s noise sounds like “screaming sirens.” They took audio of the “screaming” sun, sped it up 42,000 times, and compressed it into an audio file a little over a minute long.
Be grateful we can’t hear the siren screams from the sun here; Earth is noisy enough!
Thompson B. (2023). What the sun actually sounds like as its ‘screaming’ sirens would deafen every human on Earth. LadBible (accessed July 6, 2023).
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