Exploring Sounds in Space: How Does It Work?

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In summary, sound waves do exist in space, as shown in the examples provided in the conversation. These sounds are typically received as radio signals and converted into sound waves. In the case of measuring waves through gas in a cluster, scientists were able to convert them into sound by determining their frequency. Despite the low density and pressure in space, sound waves can still propagate through gas, allowing us to hear the sounds of the universe.
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  • #2
deepthishan said:
I have read that sounds exist in space. Some examples include:

1. http://www.ted.com/talks/honor_harger_a_history_of_the_universe_in_sound.html
2. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/universe/black_hole_sound.html

How does sound propagate in space if "Outer space has very low density and pressure, and is the closest physical approximation of a perfect vacuum" ? (- Wikipedia)

Thanks!

Number 1 is simply radio signals that we receive and turn into sound waves ourselves. It is very much like listening to the radio.

Number 2 is the result of the scientists measuring waves through the gas in the cluster and changing them into a sound. Because of the low density, the frequency of these waves is very very long, as the article said it was 10 million years long. (1 hertz is one cycle per second, this one would be 1 cycle per 10 million years.)
 
  • #3
Drakkith said:
Number 1 is simply radio signals that we receive and turn into sound waves ourselves. It is very much like listening to the radio.

Number 2 is the result of the scientists measuring waves through the gas in the cluster and changing them into a sound. Because of the low density, the frequency of these waves is very very long, as the article said it was 10 million years long. (1 hertz is one cycle per second, this one would be 1 cycle per 10 million years.)

Thank you- your answer cleared up a number of questions!

However, how can these transverse waves be converted to longitudinal sound vibrations? (As guessed I'm not a Physics Major!)
 
  • #4
By figuring out the frequency. If you were to look at me wave a string back and forth you could count the number of times it goes up and down per second and come up with the frequency. In this case they were able to figure out that it was once per 10 million years.
 
  • #5


I would like to clarify that while sound can exist in space, it is not the same as how we typically understand sound on Earth. In space, there is no medium for sound to travel through, such as air or water. This means that sound cannot propagate in the traditional sense.

However, there are other forms of energy that can create vibrations in space, which can be detected and interpreted as sound. For example, in the first link provided, Honor Harger discusses how radio waves emitted by various celestial objects can be translated into audible sounds. These sounds are not actually traveling through space, but rather are being translated and amplified through technology.

In the second link provided, NASA discusses how black holes can emit sound waves through the interaction of matter and energy. Again, these are not traditional sound waves, but rather a result of the intense energy and movement of particles in the vicinity of a black hole.

Overall, while sound cannot propagate in the same way in space as it does on Earth, there are still ways in which we can detect and interpret sound-like phenomena in the universe. It is important to understand that these are not traditional sound waves, but rather a translation or interpretation of other forms of energy.
 

Related to Exploring Sounds in Space: How Does It Work?

1. How do sound waves travel in space?

Sound waves cannot travel in the vacuum of space because they require a medium, such as air or water, to propagate. Therefore, sound cannot travel in the vast majority of space, which is a vacuum.

2. Can sound travel in space if there is no air?

No, sound cannot travel in the vacuum of space because it requires a medium, such as air or water, to propagate.

3. Is there any sound in space?

While sound cannot travel in the vacuum of space, some objects in space, such as stars and planets, emit electromagnetic waves that can be translated into sound waves. However, these sounds are not audible to the human ear and must be detected using specialized instruments.

4. How do scientists study sound in space?

Scientists use instruments, such as radio telescopes, to detect and analyze electromagnetic waves emitted by objects in space. These waves can then be translated into sound waves for further study and analysis.

5. What can we learn from studying sound in space?

Studying sound in space can provide insight into the composition and behavior of objects in the universe. It can also help us understand the processes that occur in space and how they may affect our planet and other celestial bodies.

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