Team records ‘music’ from stars

By | October 25, 2008

Scientists have recorded the sound of three stars similar to our Sun using France’s Corot space telescope.

HD49933A team writing in Science journal says the sounds have enabled them to get information about processes deep within stars for the first time.

If you listen closely to the sounds of each star – by clicking on the media in this page – you’ll hear a regular repeating pattern.

These indicate that the entire star is pulsating. You’ll also note that the sound of one star is very slightly different to the other. That’s because the sound they make depends on their age, size and chemical composition. The technique, called “stellar seismology”, is becoming increasingly popular among astronomers because the sounds give an indication of what is going on in the stars’ interior. …
Astronomers are increasingly listening into stars and other space sounds, according to Dr Tim O’Brien, of Manchester University’s Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics.

It’s interesting in itself,” he said, “it’s also scientifically useful.”

Dr O’Brien has collected his favourite space sounds in the Jodrell Bank podcast, known as the Jodcast.

“All you are really doing when you’re collecting stuff from space is that you’ve got to get that information into your brain so you can think about it,” he explained in his podcast.

“And what we’re used to doing is putting visual information into our brain – well there’s no real reason why we shouldn’t listen to signals.” – bbc

Check out the sound files on the BBC page. Our Sun sounds boring and familiar, but HD49933 (photo above) sounds really alien, like the sound they made up for 1950’s space alien movies. How did they know?

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