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This is what the sun sounds like

The sun is seen from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory in this image released by NASA on March 23, 2008.
The sun is seen from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory in this image released by NASA on March 23, 2008. (NASA)

HOUSTON – NASA scientists released a recording last week of what they said are the sounds that the sun makes.

According to Alex Young, an associate director at NASA’s Heliophysics Science Division, our star’s movement emits a low, pulsing hum into space, which typically cannot be heard by human ears.

The sound was recorded over a period of 40 days by the agency’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, which is a satellite that allows near real-time observation of the sun. That recording was cleaned up and then sped up by a factor of 42,000 to bring it into range that people can hear.

“Waves are traveling and bouncing around inside the sun, and if your eyes were sensitive enough they could actually see this,” Young said.

Scientists said that the vibrations that can be heard in the recording allow them to study movement that is happening inside the sun.

“We can see huge rivers of solar material flowing around. We are finally starting to understand the layers of the sun and the complexity,” Young said. “That simple sound is giving us a probe inside of a star. I think that’s a pretty cool thing.”

The SOHO satellite was launched in 1995 and was originally planned for a two-year mission.

To read more about SOHO's mission, go to NASA.gov.


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