What would a supernova sound like?

  • #1
I obviously realize that sound requires a medium to go through. However, suppose that there was a supernova and it was magically surrounded by an atmosphere that has the same composition and density as Earth's atmosphere. Now, if you were far enough away so you didn't get wiped out, then what would it sound like? Would it sound like a regular explosion or something completely novel. Also, how would the sound change if the supernova formed a black hole? Thanks for your time.
  • #2
I'm not sure the sound wave could actually propagate through a few dozen light years of atmosphere without losing all of its energy. You might not hear a thing.
  • #3
"Not with a bang but a whimper"
  • #4
Supernovae create supersonic shockwaves through the interstellar medium. These move much faster than the speed of sound, so they would hit you as a sonic boom on steroids.
  • #5
Not exactly the same but NASA converted the electromagnetic fields of the planets into sound and it's pretty amazing () I'd imagine you could do a similar sort of thing with a supernova.
  • #6
You don't need to do the same thing in supernovae. Supernovae are already large explosions that emit plent of pressure waves that are, by definition, sound. The only really question is how loud it would be given the low base pressures involved and where the observer is located.

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