Sounds of the Sun-Magnetic Field

SOUNDS OF THE SUN- Magnetic Field

Program #2053

SOUNDS OF THE SUN- Magnetic Field

ambience: Solar Vibrations


We’re listening to a timelapse recording of sound waves rippling across the surface of the sun. These waves reveal a star made up of tumultuous gasses, whose constant, roiling motions may hold the key to one of the sun’s most elusive secrets. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

Craig DeForest is a Solar Physicist at Stanford University and a scientist with the SOHO project, a NASA mission to observe the sun. The sounds we’re listening to were detected with the help of the SOHO spacecraft currently orbiting the sun. They’ve been speeded up thousands of times to bring them within the range of human hearing.

“Well, the Sun is a large collection of gases that have stuck together by their own gravity and the heat caused by compression has started to induce fusion and lit the thing afire.”

As astronomers looked more closely at the sun, they realized that it’s actually made up of many layers. The inner gaseous layers revolve at a fixed rate, and the outer layers slide over each other. It’s an observation that may help answer one of solar science’s oldest questions.

One of the big mysteries of stellar and solar physics has been how do stars get magnetic fields? One result that’s come out of SOHO is that at the boundary between the central part of the Sun that’s rotating rigidly and the outer part of the Sun that’s sliding around, there’s a very thin layer that’s sheering or sliding fast enough generate the magnetic field that we observe.”

The magnetic field of the sun plays an important role in the creation of solar flares which in turn can effect the reception of radio broadcasts and even the delivery and supply of electricity here on earth. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

 


Back to the Pulse of the Planet home page.

Sounds of the Sun-Magnetic Field

Solar observations may answer the mysterious question of how stars get their magnetic fields.
Air Date:01/12/2000
Scientist:
Transcript:

SOUNDS OF THE SUN- Magnetic Field

Program #2053

SOUNDS OF THE SUN- Magnetic Field

ambience: Solar Vibrations


We're listening to a timelapse recording of sound waves rippling across the surface of the sun. These waves reveal a star made up of tumultuous gasses, whose constant, roiling motions may hold the key to one of the sun's most elusive secrets. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

Craig DeForest is a Solar Physicist at Stanford University and a scientist with the SOHO project, a NASA mission to observe the sun. The sounds we're listening to were detected with the help of the SOHO spacecraft currently orbiting the sun. They've been speeded up thousands of times to bring them within the range of human hearing.

"Well, the Sun is a large collection of gases that have stuck together by their own gravity and the heat caused by compression has started to induce fusion and lit the thing afire."

As astronomers looked more closely at the sun, they realized that it's actually made up of many layers. The inner gaseous layers revolve at a fixed rate, and the outer layers slide over each other. It's an observation that may help answer one of solar science's oldest questions.

One of the big mysteries of stellar and solar physics has been how do stars get magnetic fields? One result that's come out of SOHO is that at the boundary between the central part of the Sun that's rotating rigidly and the outer part of the Sun that's sliding around, there's a very thin layer that's sheering or sliding fast enough generate the magnetic field that we observe."

The magnetic field of the sun plays an important role in the creation of solar flares which in turn can effect the reception of radio broadcasts and even the delivery and supply of electricity here on earth. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

 


Back to the Pulse of the Planet home page.