The Sun Plays Music: Scientists

Giant magnetic fields vibrate like guitar strings
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2010 7:00 PM CDT
This image provided by NASA shows the latest image of the Sun taken July 24, 2007. NASA scientists are keeping a close eye on the sun.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – The sun produces its own music, and scientists have been able to re-create and record it, the Telegraph reports. Astronomers analyzed magnetic loops that vibrate around the sun's atmosphere and found the "coronal loops" move—a little like violin strings, a little like wind inside a flute. By taking the vibrations of the loops and transferring them to sound waves, researchers were able to hear the workings of the massive star.

"It was strangely beautiful and exciting to hear these noises for the first time from such a large and powerful source," one scientist says. "It is providing us with a new way of learning about the sun and giving us a new insight into the physics that goes on at in the sun's outer layers." The information could be useful for more than just music lovers—the coronal loops hold the key to understating solar flares, which can kick up "space storms" that disrupt both satellites in space and electricity on earth.

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