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"Music" Of the Sun Recorded By Astronomers

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-day-sunshine dept.

Music 94

Scientists at the University of Sheffield have recorded the "music" produced by the magnetic field in the outer atmosphere of the sun. They discovered that the huge magnetic loops that coil away from the outer layer of the sun's atmosphere, known as coronal loops, vibrate like strings on a musical instrument or behave like soundwaves traveling through a wind instrument. From the article: "Professor Robertus von Fáy-Siebenbürgen, head of the solar physics research group at Sheffield University, said, 'It was strangely beautiful and exciting to hear these noises for the first time from such a large and powerful source. It is a sort of music as it has harmonics. 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 where temperatures reach millions of degrees.'"

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94 comments

On iTunes? (1)

samsonov (581161) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642034)

How soon before it is up on iTunes? ;)

Re:On iTunes? (4, Funny)

zethreal (982453) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642076)

I'm more curious as to how long it'll be before the RIAA starts suing people over distributing it without paying them royalties.

The horrible screeching noises.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645732)

The horrible screeching noises prove that it infringes upon the RIAA's standard sound for pop music. The sun clearly owes them eleventy billion dollars in damages.

I hope that everyone will help out as we design a shuttle to send RIAA lawyers to the sun so that they may collect damages. Remember: as far as they're concerned, a layer of tin foil qualifies as metaphasic shielding.

Re:The horrible screeching noises.... (1)

drkim (1559875) | more than 3 years ago | (#32649814)

On a case of this size, we may have to send all the RIAA lawyers to the sun to prosecute this...

I believe we have a shuttle standing by that we weren't going to use anymore.

Re:On iTunes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32642118)

It already is: Jean-Michel Jarre's "Les Chants Magnétiques" (Magnetic Fields)... Way ahead of his time!

Re:On iTunes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32643928)

I think music of the Sun has been up [apple.com] since [apple.com] iTunes [apple.com] started

Translation (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32642044)

'It was strangely beautiful and exciting to hear these noises for the first time from such a large and powerful source. It is a sort of music as it has harmonics. 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 where temperatures reach millions of degrees.'

In other words:

"We get to dick around with lots of expensive equipment"

Re:Translation (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 3 years ago | (#32644024)

A little math history:
once upon a time, there were these guys trying to deal with mathematical analysis and calculus and stuff. and one of them had the idea to call sets of functions spaces, and to use concepts from euclidian geometry when dealing with them. even now, if you try to talk to someone working in quantum physics, they'll start going on about hilbert spaces, scalar products between functions and stuff like that. and instead of working with numbers and functions on these numbers, they will prove theorems by using distances and angles between functions.
the human mind was developed by playing in trees, hunting, swimming, and stuff like that. The most important scientific achievements are made by people who succeed in using simple childish concepts when dealing with complex problems (have you ever heard of Feynman diagrams?).

Yes, it is fun. Yes, it is funny. but it is not dicking around, it is simply the mind of a primate trying to deal with complicated math problems. do you even know what MHD turbulence actually means in terms of "complicatedness"?

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32644434)

A little Slashdot history:
Once upon a time, someone posted a news article and others made a variety of serious, witty or just plain silly comments about it. Some commenters are able to discern which comments are serious and which ones are frivolous.

Re:Translation (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32644442)

The most important scientific achievements are made by people who succeed in using simple childish concepts when dealing with complex problems (have you ever heard of Feynman diagrams?).

So what you're saying is that the most important scientific achievements are made by people who dick around with lots of expensive equipment? ;)

Professor Robertus von Fáy-Siebenbürgen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32642094)

More like Professor Robertus von Gáy-Siebenbürgen.

Re:Professor Robertus von Fáy-Siebenbürg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32643424)

oh snap!

yep (4, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642104)

Sounds a lot like old Pink Floyd. (pre-DSOTM)

Bwahaha (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642154)

Now to combine this with the sounds of Sputnik and the "sounds" of Mercury from the movie Sunshine.

My god, it sounds like whales (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642178)

...hugging a rainbow.

Now, turn your stupid gaia-wicca drivel down, get off my lawn, and go and do some Goddamn science.

Re:My god, it sounds like whales (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642622)

Up next, Biological Sciences: Can whales hug? We'll do an in depth study to see if the infamous flippers can fulfill a fundamental nurturing activity.

Re:My god, it sounds like whales (1)

longnek (1778644) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663638)

You know, in all honesty I read Slashdot more for the comments than I do for the articles. Hilarious.

WTF (3, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642196)

I don't wanna persue the captain obvious degree but... this has been posted sooooo many times before on /. and other sites and it this has already been done one freakijng year ago...

Like... COOOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEE OOOOOOOOOONNNNN!!!!

Re:WTF (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642308)

I don't recall seeing this on Slashdot before. At least, not in my RSS feed.

Re:WTF (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642380)

It was in my feed... maybe more than a year ago... was only mildly interesting then, and really annoying now.

Re:WTF (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642696)

I've never been a good story writer, but one of the few I tried submitting was this one... back in 2007:
ushering05401 writes "The BBC writes about info delivered at the current Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting (Concluded today, April, 20).

Apparently solar flares follow 'coronal loops.' These loops funnel acoustic signals much like a pipe organ does — leading the reporter to liken the sun's corona to a musical instrument.

From TFA: "These loops can be up to 100 million kilometres long and guide waves and oscillations in a similar way to a pipe organ," said Dr Youra Taroyan, from the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC) at the University of Sheffield.

There were recordings etc... and at least three other posters that submitted the same thing. It ran on the front page.

Re:WTF (2, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#32643242)

For certain definitions of "this", perhaps. The research this particular article is talking about, though, was released today, according to the university's website:
http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mediacentre/2010/1662.html [sheffield.ac.uk]

Different people doing further research on a topic that you've heard of before in the past is fairly common and is hardly the same as a duplicate or posting a months-old story.

Listen carefully (4, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642288)

If you listen closely you can make out the lyrics:

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace...

Re:Listen carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32643010)

TMBG FTW

Re:Listen carefully (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#32643150)

Or with the newer version:

"The sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma"

Not quite as catchy a tune as the first one, but still a good song.

Re:Listen carefully (1)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 3 years ago | (#32649060)

Using satellite images of these loops, which can be over 60,000 miles long, the scientists were able to recreate the sound by turning the visible vibrations into noises and speeding up the frequency so it is audible to the human ear.

So they didn't actually record it, they just recreated it. Which means there is a possibility they are wrong. In which case they may have the right tune but the wrong lyrics or vice versa.

If you physically sample the Sun,the lyrics change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645298)

They change to "Burn With Me ... BURN WITH ME"

(Dr. Who, "42")

University of Sheffield's page (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32642306)

http://www.shef.ac.uk/mediacentre/2010/1662.html [shef.ac.uk]

There's a soundcloud link on that page as well (which I can't get to because I'm at work, but I imagine it has a load of 'sun music').

It really irks me that newspaper websites don't link to original sources... its not like putting a URL in print... it'd mean if people were interested, they could simply click and find out more.
Silly newspaper website making people.

Re:University of Sheffield's page (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651308)

"It really irks me that newspaper websites don't link to original sources... its not like putting a URL in print... it'd mean if people were interested, they could simply click and find out more.
Silly newspaper website making people."

Absolutely, I can't believe the number of so called professional articles, even ones entirely about a website, that at no point actually link the website in question leaving you to hunt around for it instead.

If they're strangely worried they would be promoting the page's rank (funny thing when any article is promotion anyway) and don't want to do that, then they just need rel=nofollow

"and speeding it up..." (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642316)

"Look here Cap'n, if I play it back at 10 times speed. Now I figure that's gotta be manmade."

Seriously, this isn't music, its something which happens to have a harmonic. They diddle the frequencies to the 20-20kHz range and pretend its "sun music".

Re:"and speeding it up..." (1)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642676)

And what would a /.er know about the frequency of diddling?

Re:"and speeding it up..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32643358)

Diddly.

Re:"and speeding it up..." (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32643422)

pretty much.
It's crappy pseudo science.
And nothing new, u can't beat the original Voyager recordings of Jupiter!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3fqE01YYWs

Re:"and speeding it up..." (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32643500)

Seriously, this isn't music, its something which happens to have a harmonic. They diddle the frequencies to the 20-20kHz range and pretend its "sun music".

If you want to hear real "sun music, try the band SUN O)))". They're similar not just in name, but their (admittedly dark, drone, experimental) music isn't too far removed from the "music" posted in the article.

Coincidence?

Re:"and speeding it up..." (2, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | more than 3 years ago | (#32644092)

Doesn't seem any different to me, in spirit, to the color-enhanced photos taken by the Hubble telescope.

http://hubblesite.org/gallery/behind_the_pictures/meaning_of_color/index.php [hubblesite.org]

Re:"and speeding it up..." (1)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651360)

Second. I also do not mind the pitching down (or up) in order to 'make' the thing audible. In pretty much the same spirit of color processing/enhancement, it 'normalizes' the emissions into a hearing range- this can give one tools to perform more intuitive science, something that always encapsulates a potential for further discoveries- why not 'see' in UV or IR or whatever, since we do have the means to do so? I have to agree though that this technique is decade's old, and probably our fellows just crave media attention =)

No hard feelings there; you have to be popular to get the funds! I recommend some restrain though in grandiose statements such as "Life on Mars discovered already!" or "Subsurface Oceans confirmed under most solar system bodies!" and the like

Btw, one of my former teachers in Compact Astrophysics did the same with Pulsars; no need for pitching up or down there, since most of the periodic signals can be 'heard' already (if you just cat waveform > /dev/audio)

Re:"and speeding it up..." (1)

Alef (605149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32646516)

...and a symphony is just a bunch of harmonic pressure waves at the same time. Seriously though, not that I would call this groundbreaking news in any way, but I do at least find it kind of fascinating to hear how "instrument like" the Alfvén waves of a coronal mass ejection apparently sounds like. The fact that you have to shift the waveform in the frequency domain to the audible region to be able to listen to it doesn't make the waveform itself less interesting. It's exactly the same thing they do with colors in space telescope photos, since we obviously can't see in x-ray for instance.

Re:"and speeding it up..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32650624)

Hate to break it to you, but any pattern in audio is "music"
It need t

Re:Forget the music what about the UFO pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32642578)

That giant yellowish plasma ball in the sky (yes! the one that you're not supposed to look at. NO! don't look at it now!) -- it isn't a UFO!
NASA is not hiding a UFO! BP has a better chance of hiding UFOs than do the teams at NASA.

Now really, this article should have been written by the Daily Mail.

Re:Forget the music what about the UFO pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32643074)

That was both hilarious and lame at the same time. I at least expected grainy photos with three pixels circled.

Important point from the Article (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32642376)

It's going to get warmer leading up to 2013, as the article notes the sun is getting more active.

The recent cooling trend since 1998 is because we were in a Solar Minima.

On the bright side, retards can drop the "Climate Change" and go back to panicing about the mythical "Global Warming" and ignore the obvious fact:IT'S THE SUN, NOT PEOPLE.

THX-Certified (1)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642412)

Had no idea the sun paid that exorbitant licensing fee! I guess we'll need a bigger telescope to see the THX sticker.

NASA's Symphonies - Real space recordings (1)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642512)

I'm more of a fan of NASA's Symphonies Of The Planets: http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/09/15/symphonies-of-the-planets/ [howstuffworks.com]

Beautiful, haunting, ethereal and contemplative.

Re:NASA's Symphonies - Real space recordings (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32643076)

Beautiful, haunting, ethereal and contemplative.

You just lost 95% of the readers of this site. When it comes to appreciating the fine arts, most slashdotters make great engineers.

Re:NASA's Symphonies - Real space recordings (1)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 3 years ago | (#32643736)

I phrased it wrong. This is not music, it's recorded deep space EM activity.

I guess I should have said 'excellently recorded from the electromagnetic signals detected and beamed back by Voyager I and II, consisting of charged particle emissions, solar winds and the electromagnetic field noise of space itself - will provoke in all along the autistic spectrum a rational observation of the logical necessity for awe.'

If they ever want some funding (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642736)

they should seriously consider making a 10 minute 'music clip' and sell it. I'd have bought the sample.

What did they use? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642738)

Was it the Silversun Pickups? [rimshot!]

If I hear that Panic Switch song one more time... Ever notice how it sounds like a Garbage song? I studied that, and made the decision that it just sounds like all of them.

Re:What did they use? (1)

endymion.nz (1093595) | more than 3 years ago | (#32644934)

Lots of music sounds similar, usually because it is. Take a look at this... 4 Chord Song [youtube.com]

Re:What did they use? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645820)

This is why I like Nine Inch Nails. If it is not a remix, it sounds totally unique:
Pretty Hate Machine
Broken
The Downward Spiral
The Fragile
Year Zero
Ghosts
The Slip

Re:What did they use? (1)

endymion.nz (1093595) | more than 3 years ago | (#32646088)

This is partly because Trent kind of defined his own genre but NIN is basically post-industrial electronic rock and there are lots of bands since that have attempted to emulate his sound, and he has worked with these bands and helped them. Love NIN but they not the cutting edge they used to be around Downward Spiral era. Trent also did a lot of production work for David Bowie so his influence comes through other artists from there as well.

These days I'm really into a SF label called Muti Music that pumps out dubstep and glitch mostly. Lots of talent there, some very experimental artists. It's more dance music than SadTimes music though, but if you liked Trents production this is kind of the future he helped create along with Aphex Twin, Squarepusher etc.

Rihanna / Def Jam will sue (1)

relikx (1266746) | more than 3 years ago | (#32642852)

I'm only half serious of course but the title of this article is the name of her debut album, pre-ridiculous hair.

The Majesty of The Sun Recorded (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 3 years ago | (#32643092)

And all we get is a stinkin 3 second sound byte? What the hay??

I was expecting some grand thing..along the lines of "the sounds of the planets". Come on, at least make this sun thing at least 60 seconds long.

What's there - well I could have whipped that up myself in sound forge or gnural....

Vuvuzelas? (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 3 years ago | (#32643576)

If those blasted 14 cent plastic horns made from recycled appliance parts are considered "music", than everything is musical. Science OVAH!

Slashdot obsession (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32643664)

Why are the first comments here always about the RIAA and whatnot? It almost reminds me of people who hate gays always applying that to things that have nothing to do with it.

That aside, the second tune sounds exactly like Aphex Twin.

Re:Slashdot obsession (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 3 years ago | (#32643714)

That aside, the second tune sounds exactly like Aphex Twin.

Like "equation" off of Windowlicker?

I wonder if the spectrogram of the sun shows RDJ's face...

I like the sun's older stuff... (1)

Uniquitous (1037394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32644518)

Lately it just seems like it's sold out to the man. What happened to you, sun? You used to be cool.

Reminds me of... (1)

gksmith (1277536) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645678)

Symphonies Of The Planets - NASA Voyager Recordings on CDs, released I believe in the early 90s.

Now for only $19.95... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32646196)

You too can experience the beautiful recordings of sun farts!

Word to random music! (1)

fcbs (1792506) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648310)

What a wonderful breakthrough for the World Music Day! I wish more Sun music will be made available shortly by our beloved scientists. Meanwhile, I will keep tuned to white noise radio : http://www.whitenoise.fm/ [whitenoise.fm] Long life to random music!

The End is Nigh (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648824)

OK, I was wrong. The world will end this year when the RIAA sends a "cease and desist" order to the Sun.

Fiorella Terenzi back in"91 (1)

drkim (1559875) | more than 3 years ago | (#32649892)

I believe Dr. Fiorella Terenzi was doing something this a long time ago:

Dr. Fiorella Terenzi, an itialian astrophysicist, has captured radio waves from a distant galaxy 180 million light years from Earth, converted cosmic waves into sound and transformed the sound into music.

You may never have heard anything like Dr. Fiorella Terenzi's music, but you may recognize the musicians on her 1991 album, Music From the Galaxies. On lead vocals: Jupiter! ("It whistles," she says.) On rhythm guitar: the Sun! ("It bubbles like boiling water.") On drums: pulsars! ("A precise beating time") On bass: Mother Earth! ("It has a very low frequency.") Astrophysicist Terenzi assembled her cosmic combo while studying at UC-San Diego. Using radio telescopes and computer sound-synthesis technology, she intercepted space signals and transformed them into tunes.

Her albums [fiorella.com]

Pic [wordpress.com]

Must We? (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 3 years ago | (#32651844)

Any pseudo-oscillatory time series data can have the X axis stretched or compressed to make it able to be used as an audible signal. That's trivial in terms of both technique and result. It was interesting that someone thought of it decades ago, but the result wasn't. This isn't interesting in either sense, despite the harmonics which might make it sounds more like what we consider music. It's not going to sound like music, it's going to sound like noise with harmonics just like the last dozen data sets to be mistreated this way. Why doesn't someone boost it to the GHz region and drive a klystron with it. At least it would be a novel way to cook lunch, though it wouldn't change the taste one bit.

Guys, it's not the sun (1)

tzot (834456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32655188)

Hotblack Desiato is trying to gather back the band after his prolonged vacations. At the moment he tours the outskirts of the galaxy, basking in the shadow of yesteryear's triumph; although the spaceships aren't thrown in the sun, anymore, just orbiting. Less expensive this way, given the galaxial economic crisis.

Job 38:6-7 (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656046)

"On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" Job 38:6-7 (NIV)

Univ. of Sheffield dudes are posers! (1)

conspirator23 (207097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32661036)

It's not unusual for new bands to basically rip off the sounds of prior generations and foist them off on their peers as "original" but I didn't realize that astrophysicists did this as well! Almost 20 years ago I had the chance to abuse listeners of my late night college radio show by playing tracks from "Music from the Galaxies," a CD of "songs" derived from the signal data of radio astronomy. The auteur behind this project was Italian astrophysicist Dr. Fiorella Terenzi [wikipedia.org], who aside from having dual PhD's in both musicology and astrophysics, was also smoking hot. She later collaborated work with nerd-pop hero Thomas Dolby for the soundtrack to one of those Amigas-on-LSD Mind's Eye video compilations.

As someone who really enjoys experimental and electronic music, I found Dr. Terenzi's album only somewhat listenable. As someone who enjoyes experimental and electronic music, and who also feels that science could stand to be sexed up a bit for the masses, I tried really hard to get into it and still couldn't manage to inflict it on my handful of listeners for more than a couple of weekends. Unless the Sun is dramatically funkier than Andromeda, or unless they've got a busty bombshell on their research team, I think they'll have a long time to wait before they can sign a record deal.

data imaging in the 1990's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32665590)

I did this kind of musical data imaging to find code and data in a computer's memory in the 1990's.
I was learning to programme in C at the time.

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