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Sounds from Stars

stars of soundA team of Indian and UK scientists has found experimental evidence that stars may generate sound, but at such a high frequency that it can’t be heard by any mammal. John Pasley from University of York realized that in the trillionth of a second after the laser strikes, plasma flowed rapidly from areas of high density to more stagnant regions of low density, in such a way that it created something like a traffic jam.

Dr Pasley, who worked with scientists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Central Laser Facility in Oxfordshire, said: “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.”

“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,” Pasley said. “This showed that we had discovered a new way of generating sound from fluid flows. Similar situations could occur in plasma flowing around stars,” he said.