Pin It
astronaut playing banjo

An astronomer has made music out of a star’s vibrations

Relaxation music beamed straight from the Milky Way –  listen to the sound of a shimmering star

Some people like to chill out at night to whale song or YouTube video clips called "lullaby of the ocean" or "mystical woodland world". Did you know stars make sound? They do.

“Starquakes” are the waves that ripple through a star and cause it to emit light. But Burak Ulas at Izmir Turk College Planetarium is particularly interested in how similar a star’s seismic waves are to chords produced by musicial instruments.

In a paper highlighted in the MIT Technology Review, Ulas describes how he generated chords from the frequencies of a star in our galaxy called Y Cam A. He used audio software called Audacity to transform the star’s vibrations – which were like a wave made up of four sine-like frequencies – into tones. These chords form the basis of a secondary piano composition that Ulas recorded. He then combined the two using a digital audio editor called GoldWave. Basically, he’s used a star as a musical instrument.

He wrote in the study’s summary: “Our study shows that further orchestral compositions can be made from the frequency analysis results of several pulsating stars by using the procedure stated in present study.” So maybe there’s something in the idea that the solar system is all vibrating together in some musical way.

Listen to the sound of a star below: