Hear the Sun's roar

By Phil Plait | March 29, 2012 11:00 am

I love it when people take electromagnetic phenomena (like aurorae) and convert them to sounds. Light and sound are very similar from a physics standpoint — both are waves, though very different kinds of waves. Still, if you take the wavelength (color) and amplitude (intensity) of light, you can convert them mathematically to pitch and volume of sound. It’s not telling you anything physical or real, but it might give you insight into some phenomena… or it might just be cool, like this video which translates the March 7, 2012 solar storm into sound for your listening pleasure.

Nifty, isn’t it? And the big storm sounds like a lion’s roar, which is appropriate, at least. If you want more insight into this, Emily Lakdawalla posted about it, as did Universe Today. And check out the Related Posts below for links to more things like this.


Related Posts:

- Listen in on the Perseid meteor shower
- Saturn, the Forbidden Planet
- Phoenix sings
- Laying down the pulsar beat

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff
MORE ABOUT: solar storm, Sun

Comments (10)

  1. Gary Ansorge

    I’m not an astrologer but, as I recall, Leo was the symbol of the Sun, so sounding like a lion is really appropriate.

    Gary 7

  2. Chris

    Love to hear what the solar tornado sounds like
    http://www.space.com/15086-sun-tornado-nasa-sdo-spacecraft.html

    big storm sounds like a lion’s roar – Is it just me or does it sound a little, umm, gassy?

  3. Check out Marty Quinn’s old project: Rock around the bow shock: Cluster Data Sonification

    http://www-ssg.sr.unh.edu/tof/Outreach/music/cluster/index.html

    Both my college physics lab students and my little science camp kids got a kick out of it. I think the kids understood what it was better.

  4. Cool. This is like D-I-Y synesthesia.

  5. Loree

    This is what it sounds like…. when the Sun cries.
    (with a nod to Prince)

  6. Cindy

    Too bad I didn’t see this until now. I gave a talk on the Sun today to my daughter’s second grade class. I’ll have to send the link to her teacher.

    I like the sound of breaking glass when it hits the detectors.

  7. Rahne

    I have to agree with Chris – the Sun needs some Beano I think.

  8. Larry

    When played backwards, I swear I heard “Paul is dead”.

  9. RyanH

    They’re not fooling anyone. That is OBVIOUSLY the sound of Transformers communicating across the solar system.

  10. Is it just me being a geek, or did that low “roar” also sound sort of like the transforming sound the Transformers made? (Yeah, probably just me being a geek.)

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