Asked by: Simon Price, Aberdeen
The Sun does indeed generate sound, in the form of pressure waves. These are produced by huge pockets of hot gas that rise from deep within the Sun, travelling at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour to eventually break through the solar surface. As a result, the Sun’s atmosphere is seething like a pan of boiling water.
he characteristics of sound waves, such as their speed and amplitude, depend on the material they pass through, so they can be used to study the Sun’s deep interior. Unfortunately, though, the wavelength of these waves is measured in hundreds of miles, and so they’re far outside the range of human hearing.
- Can you really go blind by staring at the Sun?
- How much closer to the Sun could Earth’s orbit get and still be habitable?