What if we could hear the sun? What would we hear from here on Earth?

At a distance of 149,600,000 km from Earth, the Sun burns at a surface temperature of approximately 5,500° C. For us, it is just a yellow circle in the sky that silently illuminates the day. However, the star would be incredibly loud for us if we could hear it in action.

As the sound does not propagate in the vacuum of space, it is impossible to hear any noise coming from the Sun. But that does not mean that the star of the Solar System is silent: if we could change the laws of physics for a moment and make the sounds of the Sol reached us, we would be surprised.

In this alternative reality, the Sun would be a perpetual machine of high-pitched, high-pitched white noise. “The Sun is extraordinarily high,” says heliophysics expert Craig DeForest. In a Reddit topic, he answered what it would be like if we could hear the star and, based on some quick calculations, the answer can be summed up in: the Sun is deafening; after all, it is a huge furnace of superheated plasma.

Nuclear reactions that feed a star cause massive structures of superheated gas to rise to the surface and then descend, repeating the movement continuously. In the Sun, there are about a million of these structures, similar to giant cells. The phenomenon was recently photographed for the first time in high definition by a new telescope, in the image you see below.

Plasma of the Sun photographed by the solar telescope
Plasma of the Sun photographed by the solar telescope Daniel K. Inouye, in late January. Each of the cell-like structures is the size of Texas and is in constant motion of convection (Image: NSO / NSF / AURA)

In short, imagine something the size of the US state of Texas emerging under the surface, burning and sinking, all in just five minutes. “This is an extraordinarily violent process – it would generate an enormous amount of sounds,” says DeForest. To show this, he calculated that each of these cells emits about 100 to 300 watts of sound energy per square meter, roughly the same as a police siren. Well, if the surface area of ​​the sun is about 10,000 times that of Earth, then imagine 10,000 Earths covered by police sirens.

At least that is what we would hear if we were close to the Sun, in this alternative reality where the laws of physics would be suspended. But and here on Earth, what would we hear during the day? According to DeForest, it would be somewhere around 100 decibels, a little less shrill than the speakers at a rock concert, but it would be difficult even to talk. At night, when we move away from the sun, the roar would disappear, and then we would have a little peace.

All of this in relation to the volume of the sound. As for the type, DeForest says it would be something like a muffled roar, because the sound waves that would reach us would be composed of many different frequencies. But for that, it would also be necessary to erase other rules of physics, such as the fact that sound waves tend to accentuate as they travel long distances. This means that they would end up “breaking”, like ocean waves, according to DeForest. Even if the sound could travel through space, the waves would not even come out of the Sun’s corona or atmosphere – they implode like shock waves, dissolving into heat.

Source: Discover Magazine

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