Stars generate sounds on their surface in an unexpected way, according to new experimental evidence.
Of course, as space is a vacuum it is impossible to hear sound in space, but the discovery reveals a new way that fluids can interact to produce a sound – one with an extremely high frequency.
The discovery was made by a team of scientists including Dr John Pasley of the York Plasma Institute in the Department of Physics.
They found that, when material – dust or gas from nearby – falls onto a star, it can produce an extremely high pitched sound in the plasma.
Dr Pasley says that the phenomenon is ‘more common in younger stars’ that are still accumulating material from their surroundings.
It would be less common in more mature stars, like our sun.
Using a method not too dissimilar to how a speed camera works, they were able to observe how the fluid moves at the point it is struck.
WHAT IS PLASMA?
- Often called the fourth state of matter, plasma is a state of matter where heat or another energy has been added to a gas.
- This makes many of its atoms release some, or all, of their electrons.
- The resultant electrically charged gas is said to be ‘ionised’, and when enough atoms are ionised, the gas is said to be a plasma.
- Interestingly, plasma is thought to make up more than 99 per cent of all matter in the universe.
A trillionth of a second after the laser hits, plasma was found to flow quickly from areas of high density to low density.
In so doing, the plasma between the regions of different density produces pressure pulses, or a sound wave.
However, with a frequency of nearly a trillion hertz, the sound wave produced is six million times higher in frequency than anything that can be heard by a mammal.
It is also almost the highest frequency possible in such a material.
According to the scientists, a prime location for this rare event occurring is on the surface of stars.
However, he noted that it would be difficult to directly observe this effect in stars, as the sound waves do not propagate into the space around the star.
‘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,’ added Dr Alex Robinson, from the Plasma Physics Group at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Central Laser Facility in Oxfordshire.
‘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, published in Physical Review Letters, was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
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And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke (Acts 2:19 KJV).
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars…” Luke 21:25 (KJV).
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse – Romans 1:20 (KJV).
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.- Psalm 113:3 (KJV).
Sing to God and praise his name! Praise him who rides to the West. Lord Jehovah is his name. Be courageous before him- Psalm 68:4 (KJV).
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. – Isaiah 45:6 (KJV).
For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. – James 1:11 (KJV).
There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them- Deuteronpomy 33:26-27 (KJV).
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? – Job 38:7 (KJV).