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Sounds of the Stars - Windows to the Universe

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Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944)
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Sounds of the Stars

Arthur Eddington wrote a book called The Internal Constitution of the Stars. He asked: "What... can pierce through the outer layers of a star and test the conditions within?" Now we know the answer. The sounds of the stars.

We can use earthquakes to understand the inside of the earth. We can also learn about the insides of stars that pulsate. They make very low sound waves. What if the waves moved a million times faster? We could hear the sounds of the stars!

Different stars would make different sounds. A star like our own Sun is alpha Centauri (click to listen). A giant star like xi Hydrae sounds deeper. A tiny white dwarf star like GD 358 sounds higher. We can even make music from these sounds.

Last modified December 22, 2004 by Travis Metcalfe.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF