Have you heard the music of the spheres? Such a thing does exist, and an eerie, otherworldly sound it is.
The first mention of star song comes from the Bible, as seen in passages like Psalm 19, which states:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. (NIV)
My second encounter with the idea came in the form of Kerry Nietz’s Christian science fiction novels, A Star Curiously Singing and its sequel, The Superlative Stream. Intrigued by the concept, I explored a little more and found a whole spectrum of ethereal sounds recorded by NASA. Well, they aren’t recorded in the strictest sense, since the vacuum of space cannot transmit audible sound, but scientists have captured radio emissions and electromagnetic waves from other planets and stars and translated them into sound. I love that Psalm 19 says that no sound is heard, but their voice yet goes out into all the earth, which to me perfectly, poetically describes this dynamic.
The sounds captured are incredible (click through for recordings):
Sun video/sound clip (from University of Sheffield)
On the sun specifically, scientists have found that the musical sounds come from massive magnetic loops in the outermost layer of the sun, which vibrate to varying degrees. Interestingly, this “sound” is decaying over time. If you’re interested in learning more about the sounds of the sun, check out the University of Sheffield’s article or NASA’s site for more on the sun and planets in general.
If we could, by human ear, hear the sounds transmitted by the planets and stars of our galaxy, I wonder what sort of melody they would comprise, all together? What do you think?