Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Pipe down, Sun

by Ian Johnson, CBC news online

OK, here's a quick word-association check: What comes to mind when someone says "sun"? Words like hot, bright and blazing, right? Well, how about noisy?

Scientists have known for years that the Sun produced sounds internally, but it was thought that the waves (which have very low wavelengths measured in hundreds of kilometres) were trapped below its surface. This week, the Goddard Space Flight Center reported that using spacecraft, ground-based telescopes and computer simulations, researchers have determined that Sun's magnetic field allows wave energy to be released from the interior. The field permits sound waves to travel through thin fountains of hot gas upward into a region of the Sun's atmosphere called the chromosphere.

According to NASA:

"The surface of the Sun produces sound waves because the surface is convecting and this produces pressure waves that travel into the inner corona. These pressure waves steepen into shock waves and this is possibly why the corona gets so hot ... In 'helioseismology' you can 'hear' the Sun ring like a bell. This is coherent sound produced by the vibration of the entire surface of the Sun caused by sub-surface convection. By studying all the different tones that the Sun vibrates in, astronomers can probe the deep interior of the Sun and discover just how deep the convection layers are, and also how fast the deep interior is rotating compared to the surface."

"The Sun's interior vibrates with the peal of millions of bells, but the bells are all on the inside of the building," Scott McIntosh, a researcher at Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo., said in a report on Eurekalert regarding the latest research. "We have been able to show how the sound can escape the building and travel a long way using the magnetic field as a guide."

Not that anyone's going to be swinging by to listen any time soon, of course - which begs the question that if a
flare shoots from the sun and there's nobody around to hear, does it REALLY make a sound? The research was presented at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In related news, the European Space Agency says its Solar and Heliospheric Observatory has discovered radio "screams" that warn of dangerous coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which produce radiation storms that can harm astronauts, as well as electronic gear both on earth and in space.

Huge CMEs accelerate electrons in the solar wind, producing the radio signal.

"Since the radio signal moves at the speed of light while the particles lag behind, we can use a CME's radio noise to give warning that it is generating a radiation storm that will hit us soon," said Goddard Space Flight Center's Natchimuthuk Gopalswamy in a statement. "This will give astronauts and satellite operators anywhere between a few tens of minutes to a couple of hours to prepare, depending on how fast the particles are moving."

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

In Catalonia, the nameless dead raise old animosities toward Franco
In the Catalan hills west of Barcelona, the nameless dead are emerging from deep layers of earth that have kept them hidden from the world's gaze for some 80 years.
Jeff Sessions interviewed in Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation video
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed for hours last week in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, with Donald Trump saying Tuesday he is "not at all concerned."
2 dead, 17 injured in Kentucky high school shooting
A 15-year-old student opened fire with a handgun inside a rural Kentucky high school Tuesday morning, killing two of his classmates, injuring 17 and sending hundreds fleeing for safety, police said, and the suspect will be charged with murder.
more »

Canada »

New Bombardier risks losing contested U.S. trade dispute with Boeing
Bombardier risks losing a hotly-contested U.S. trade dispute on Thursday which would effectively bar its C Series jet from the United States for at least a year, a potential setback as the Canadian plane-and-train maker races to meet its 2018 delivery targets and attract sales from American carriers.
Trudeau promotes Time's Up, #MeToo movements in Davos speech video
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged international leaders to do more to promote women's rights, including confronting widespread concerns over sexual misconduct and assault, on the main stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.
Exclusive Edmonton babysitter recounts 'horrifying' discovery of abused sisters
A 19-year-old babysitter is giving a first-hand account of rescuing two young abused sisters last month from being barricaded in a basement in northeast Edmonton.
more »

Politics »

Canada reaches deal on revised Trans-Pacific Partnership video
Canada has agreed to a resurrected version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and will sign on to the deal. The deal, renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, comes after talks in Japan this week with the 11 countries still committed to the deal.
'We must get this done': Liberals stick to First Nations water promise amid new boil-water advisories
As part of its goal to end long-term boil water advisories for First Nations reserves, the federal government has added nearly 250 more drinking water systems to its list of those eligible for public monies, meaning it will have to address many more advisories than it originally intended.
Trudeau promotes Time's Up, #MeToo movements in Davos speech video
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged international leaders to do more to promote women's rights, including confronting widespread concerns over sexual misconduct and assault, on the main stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Oscars 2018: The Shape of Water lands a leading 13 Oscar nods
Ontario-filmed The Shape of Water leads Oscar nominations announced this morning with 13, with Get Out, Dunkirk and Lady Bird also among notable films vying for Hollywood's highest honours.
Christopher Plummer, Shape of Water team among Canadian Oscar nominees
A Toronto producer who worked on The Shape of Water says the film's leading 13 Oscar nominations are a big win for Canada.
Legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela dead at 78
Legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela has died at age 78 after a decade-long fight with cancer, according to a statement from his family.
more »

Technology & Science »

Why B.C. and Alaska avoided a massive tsunami
Coastal communities in B.C. and Alaska were evacuated to higher ground early this morning after tsunami warning sirens blared following a large earthquake off the coast of Alaska. But the warning was later cancelled without any reported tsunami damage. Why?
Elon Musk to get no salary unless Tesla hits milestones
Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk will get no salary or cash bonuses from Tesla Inc. and all his compensation as chief executive of the electric car maker will be tied to stock and operational milestones, the company said on Tuesday.
Astronauts go spacewalking to give new hand to Canadarm2
Spacewalking astronauts are giving a hand to the International Space Station's big robot arm, Canadarm2.
more »

Money »

Updated Bell Canada alerts customers after data breach
Bell Canada is alerting customers after hackers illegally accessed the information of fewer than 100,000 customers, the telecom giant told CBC News.
New Bombardier risks losing contested U.S. trade dispute with Boeing
Bombardier risks losing a hotly-contested U.S. trade dispute on Thursday which would effectively bar its C Series jet from the United States for at least a year, a potential setback as the Canadian plane-and-train maker races to meet its 2018 delivery targets and attract sales from American carriers.
Owner of Harvey's, Swiss Chalet buying steakhouse chain The Keg for $200M
The owner of some of the biggest restaurant chains in Canada is about to get a bit bigger after Cara Operations struck a deal to buy The Keg steakhouses for $200 million.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
New Calgary could use Saddledome for 2026 Olympics, IOC signals to local bid project team
International Olympic Committee officials assured the team in charge of exploring a possible Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics that the aging Saddledome would still be an acceptable venue for hockey and figure skating.
Mike Babcock among 3 named to Order of Hockey in Canada
Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, two-time Olympic champion Danielle Goyette and former NHL forward Ryan Smyth were named Order of Hockey in Canada honourees on Tuesday.
Russia says more medal contenders banned from Olympics
Russian officials say several of the country's top medal hopes for next month's Olympics, including six-time short track speed skating gold medallist Viktor Ahn, have been barred from the Games amid the country's ongoing doping scandal.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »