Science News

Stars May Generate Sound And Sing, Study Suggests

Star Sound

A team of researchers has provided experimental evidence indicating that stars might not only produce sound, they may even sing.

Dr. Parsley, who worked with scientists behind the study at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai and the Technology Facilities Council’s Central Laser Facility in Oxfordshire, was quoted on EurekAlert as having said in a statement that “the stars might be singing – but, since sound cannot propagate through the vacuum of space, no-one can hear them.”

One of the few locations in nature where we believe this effect would occur is at the surface of stars. When they are accumulating new material stars could generate sound in a very similar manner to that which we observed in the laboratory – so the stars might be singing – but, since sound cannot propagate through the vacuum of space, no-one can hear them.

Researchers behind the study, which was published in the journal Physical Review Letters, were studying plasma — which is visible in a few things on Earth such as the gas inside of neon signs and lightning strikes. When they shot high-intensity lasers at the plasma, they observed the creation of sound as a result of the impacts, as a type of plasma traffic jam was created the instant after each laser strike and the subsequent pressure would create sound pulses.

The technique employed by the researchers which allowed for the observation of sound waves in the laboratory allows for an accurate measurement of the speed at which fluid moves at the point it’s struck by a laser on timescales of less than a trillionth of a second.

Dr. Alex Robinson with the Plasma Physics Group at the Central Laser Facility explained that it was initially difficult to “determine the origin of the acoustic signals,” but their model produced results which showed that they “had discovered a new way of generating sound from fluid flows” and that similar situations could take place in the plasma flowing around stars.

It was initially hard to determine the origin of the acoustic signals, but our model produced results that compared favourably with the wavelength shifts observed in the experiment. This showed that we had discovered a new way of generating sound from fluid flows. Similar situations could occur in plasma flowing around stars.

The research was funded by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

In other space related coverage here on Immortal News, a recent study claims that the galaxy which contains our Solar System might contain billions of habitable planets.

What are your thoughts on singing stars?

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