Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists tell us to tune in to songs of the stars

08.08.2006
It isn't only stars of stage and screen who can sing, but also the stars in the night sky, according to scientists at an international astronomy conference.

Astronomers will look at how the Sun and other stars vibrate like enormous musical instruments at an international conference in Sheffield next week (7-11 August, 2006) and will say that listening closely to the stars could be music to our ears.

Leading astronomer and astrophysicist Professor Don Kurtz will discuss how sound waves caused by natural vibrations of stars, produce eerie whistling, drumming, humming or rumbling sounds when their frequencies are raised to within human hearing ranges at an interactive, public lecture at Sheffield Hallam University called 'Songs of the Stars'.

This lecture is one of the highlights of the conference, which has been organised and hosted by the University of Sheffield and brings together experts from across Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia.

Professor Kurtz will demonstrate how Bach would sound if played by the stars, by combining different pitches from different stars to create a whole melody, projected by computer. He will also use helium, cymbals and bottles to recreate stellar sounds.

Professor Kurtz said:

"Stars have natural vibrations that are sound waves, just as musical instruments do. In the case of an instrument such as a horn, the cause of the vibrations is the musician blowing on the horn and buzzing his or her lips at a frequency that matches the natural vibrations of the horn. For the star, the vibrations start by changes in the passage of energy from the nuclear inferno in the heart of the star on its way to the surface, and escape into space.

"The ancient Greeks believed that the planets and stars were embedded in crystal spheres that hummed as they spun around the heavens, making what they called 'the music of the spheres', but it was not until the 1970s that astronomers discovered that the sun and other stars do actually 'sing'. We can't hear the sounds directly, but astronomers can detect them through asteroseismology - looking beneath the surfaces of the stars into their cores. We can see inside the Sun as clearly as you can see a foetus in the womb using ultrasound.

"Understanding the sounds of the stars is important for our understanding of the formation of the solar system and the Earth. We can even monitor dangerous 'active' regions on the far side of the Sun which might later send out coronal mass ejections and create geomagnetic storms, leading to power failure and radio disruption."

'Songs of the Stars' takes place on Tuesday 8 August, 2006 at 7pm, Pennine Lecture Theatre, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University. Entry is free but by ticket only, available from Pat Brunskill on 0114 2254888 or p.brunskill@shu.ac.uk

Lorna Branton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shu.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>