From World Science:
Now downloadable: “music” of the stars
Aug. 13, 2006
Courtesy Sheffield Hallam University and World Science staff
Ancient Greeks thought planets and stars were embedded in vast crystal spheres that hummed as they spun around the heavens, giving off what the ancients called “the music of the spheres.”
It was a beautiful idea, and wrong.
But not totally wrong. There are no crystal spheres; but as astronomers found out in the 1970s, “the sun and other stars do actually ‘sing,’” said astronomer Donald Kurtz of The University of Central Lancashire in Preston, U.K.
The eerie tones are now downloadable:
Downloadable star sounds
» HR3831, discovered by Kurtz, a new class of star with a powerful magnetic field. It pulses every 11.7 minutes.
» Xi-hydrae, an old star in the constellation Hydra. It is 130 light years away and 60 times brighter than the Sun. Its sounds, which have been featured in club music in Belgium, are reminiscent of African drumming.
» A “white dwarf” or dead star 50 light years away, also in Centaurus
» The first piece of music composed for stellar instruments: the slowly-building Stellar Music No. 1 by Jenõ Keuler and Zoltán Kolláth.