does the sun make noise

i have asked this before a few years back and i didnt like the answers i got so. i was told because of the vacum of space it doesnt make noise but how come we pick up radio waves from( or dont we) the way i figure it it must be like the biggest roaring inferno you would ever hear i bet you can hear it from mercury

Sound is the result of variation of pressure in some medium, like, say, air. It is propagated through collisions of the molecules in that medium. If there is nothing for sound to travel through, you won’t hear anything. Hence, sound does not travel in empty space.

Radio waves are electromagnetic radiation, like visible light. They do not require an external medium to propagate, so they can cross a vacuum, and we can detect them.

There is a difference between not making any noise and not being able to hear it. The sun is a very dynamic system, with hot plasma continuously bubbling up to the surface in continent-sized blobs. We can observe vibrations on the surafce of the sun. So the sun does vibrate a lot, and if you were on the sun, you would hear a huge amount of noise.

But space is a very good vacuum. Sound is a compression wave, and cannot travel if there is nothing to compress. So all that noise would not even reach Mercury. Radio waves and light are electromagnetic waves and can propagate in vacuum.

It bears repeating and clarification: Sound waves and light waves are not related in any way.

Radio signals are “light” waves. They occur because “packets” of photons are emited by matter that has been excited (i.e. has a LOT of energy). Electromagnetic radiation (“light”, “radio”, “X-rays”, “gamma rays” etc.) can be thought of as propagating as a “wave” or as a cluster of particles (“photons”) depending on which is more convenient. It doesn’t need a medium to travel through, as a matter of fact, it travels fastest through a perfect vacuum. Light waves are “sinusoidal” meaning that they behave like a mathematical “sine” equation, and look like what you think of when you picture “a wave.” They vibrate perpendicular to the direction of propagation.

Sound waves are “compression waves” They occur because of minute variations in pressure in the medium in which they are travelling. As something vibrates, it pushes the air around it in a regular manner, that air then puses the air next to it, which pushes the air next to it, etc. Sound waves are “longitudinal.” They don’t look like sine equations, rather they vibrate parallel to the direction fo propagation. Sound waves are movements of matter, and therefore need matter to occur in. No matter (vacuum)= no sound.

Does the sun make noise? Depends on how you define it. If you are within the suns atmosphere, you will most definately hear it. If you are not within the suns atmosphere, you cannot hear it, and thus, from our perspective on earth, for instance, the sun is completely silent. SO your question was incomplete. The answer depends on where you do the listening.

gee jason why dont you go right up next to the sun and put your ear on it and see if you hear anything!

there are sound waves that move through the sun (these can be inferred from measurements of the sun’s activity)

the vacuum of space is not absolute (a few atoms here and there), so perhaps a compression wave could move through space, but the frequency(?) would be so incredibly low that it’s zero for all practical purposes. There’s certainly no sound in space in the sense that were are familiar with.

and as jayron32 said, radio waves are electromagnetic waves (no medium-of-propagation needed)…which are different than sound waves (medium-of-propagation needed)

It kind of feels like you talked yourself right out of your own answer, in the graph following the one I’ve quoted. And,being “On” the Sun is a dicey proposition. I don’t mean heat or radiation, but is there a true Surface of the Sun? We know there is a “Carpet of The Sun”< thanks to Annie Haslam,and we know there is a “Heart Of The Sunrise”, thanks to Jon Anderson. But a true Surface?

At any rate, if you stood on a hypothetical surface…well…your FEET would be on the surface, but your HEAD and EARS would be in the vacuum of space. Therefore…no sound??


Yes, but in space, you cannot hear it scream.



Well, to quote They Might Be Giants, “The sun is a mass/of incandescent gas.” Being a big ball of hot gas, there is not a definite surface like, say, the Earth, but there is a band of transition where you go from almost no gas to a lot of gas. You could call that area the suface of the sun.

BTW, I’d really like to throw out a compliment to all the posters who gave detailed but easy to understand answers to this question. You’re the reason I love this message board.

depends on the quality of the acid you drop…

Being deaf, I have this romantic notion the sun setting makes a noise or the moon rising.

what about all the particles ejected from the sun? would they yield a same kind of ‘sound’ that air makes (assuming of course that you were standing in the stream of them)? maybe you would hear a variation in such ‘sound’ w/ sunspots etc.

If the sun vibrates, but no one’s close enough to hear it, does it make a sound?

Did anyone hear this storm when it came through? I never heard it and IF it made a noise (!), we should have all heard it, eh?

NASA Science News for July 14, 2000

A powerful solar flare on July 14th triggered an
intense radiation storm in the vicinity of Earth.
The eruption was followed by a fast-moving
coronal mass ejection that is expected to strike
Earth’s magnetosphere as early as Saturday. The
impact could trigger Northern and Southern Lights
bright enough to be seen in spite of this
weekend’s brilliant full Moon. Such a display is
by no means guaranteed, but it is possible.
Observers across the Pacific could be in for a
very rare treat: the sight of shimmering colorful
aurora during the total lunar eclipse of July 16,


well, you could say that the earth’s atmosphere diffused the stream of particles (which it has- hence the amazing aurorea really far down) so that any and all sound was absorbed of muffled. if the sun exploded and a human who wouldnt melt and who’s eardrums were made of adamantium was close by, would he ‘hear’ the particles of former-sun zooming past?

Following Triska’s comment, haven’t you ever heard of sun scream?

I have a hard time trying to picture the surface of the sun. It would be very turbulent. I doubt there is a definable surface for a 5 to 6 ft tall person. And don’t forget that the corona extends far beyond the “surface”. The interior of the sun is denser than the surface so, if you could survive, you could sink into the sun and eventually reach a point where it would feel solid.


I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that even if there was a medium for sound to be transmitted through… and assuming that the sun did make a noise… we still would not be able to make an instrument that would be able to get close enough to actually detect the sound. Any detector would vaporize in the corona long before it ever got within shouting distance. Seems a moot point.

It is quite possible to hear “noise” without coming into direct contact with the medium through which it is being transfered. There are supposedly listening devices that use a laser to detect vibrations on window panes and convert the resulting signal back into sound. Similar technology could be used to convert vibrations on the surface of the sun into audible signals.
The question(s)would be: (a)why would anyone want to do this? and (b) what specific part of the sun would you like to hear? Different bits of the sun will be vibrating at different amplitudes and frequencies, so you would have to pick specific a location(s). Just get a white noise generator and pretend it’s the sun.