Hear the sounds of the sun

Listen to the vibration of the sun. “It has a warmth to it. It’s just enough where I can almost feel the sound on my skin.”

SOHO – Solar and Heliospheric Observatory – has been capturing the dynamic movement of the sun’s atmosphere for over 20 years. Now this data has been sonified – turned into sound – letting us hear the sun’s movement — all of its waves, loops and eruptions.

The sonified data captures the sun’s natural vibrations and provides scientists with a concrete representation of its movements. Alex Young is associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Young said:

We don’t have straightforward ways to look inside the sun. We don’t have a microscope to zoom inside the sun. So using the sun’s vibrations allows us to see inside of it.

These vibrations allow scientists to study a range of complex motions inside the sun, from solar flares to coronal mass ejections. Young said:

That simple sound is giving us a probe inside of a star. I think that’s a pretty cool thing.

Bottom line: Scientists have turned solar data from SOHO into sound.

Eleanor Imster