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Posted: 11/4/2009 10:16:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 10:30:19 AM EST by Zippy_The_Wonderdog]
A friend of mine sent me this link. Thought some of you might find it amusing as well.


Holy shit, illteracy is rampant.



http://idiomzero.blogspot.com/2007/02/how-loud-is-sun.html

How loud is the sun?

Unsurprisingly, being a closet geek, I love browsing through New Scientist magazine. Months and months ago now I submitted a question to a regular feature they run on the back page called “The Last Word” where readers can ask odd questions and other readers (usually scientists who are experts in the particular field to which the question relates) can answer them.

My question was along the lines of: “If the space between the Earth and the Sun was filled with air – but a hypothetical air whose only physical property was to transmit sound – then could we hear the sound of the Sun, and how loud would this be?” I had a wonderful vision in mind of the Sun peeking over the horizon every morning with a sound like some giant, yet distant, bowl of Rice Bubbles.
Well, for some months there I wasn’t keeping abreast of the latest issue of New Scientist. Then, about two months ago, I was wallowing in the air-conditioning at the Richmond Public Library, flicking through some of the issues I’d missed, when I discovered they’d published my question! Not only that, the issue I had in my hand wasn’t the one with the question, it was the later one where people have written in with answers! I was one excited little motherfucker.

But my glee was short-lived! Reading further, I discovered that to save space the editors had cut my question a little, knocking out the caveats about the hypothetical sound-carrying substance having no other physical properties. As a result a tidal wave of outraged geeks had written in attacking my question on its supposed inaccuracy, whining on and on about how the Earth couldn’t orbit the Sun with the drag created by so much air, and how that much air would collapse the solar system, and blah b’blah blah blah. One cunt had the gall to send in something saying, “The question seems to imply some sort of odd, pre-Copernican view of the solar system…” Piss off mate, I know the Sun’s at the centre. Christ.

Fine, I thought, I’ll figure it out myself then. So that’s what I spent a good deal of the weekend doing.

I started off with the idea of finding out how loud a 1-megaton nuclear bomb is, then how many megatons the energy produced by the Sun is equivalent to, then multiplying one by the other to get a decibel level for the Sun. Annoyingly though, I discovered our system for measuring sound is a bit of a bastard. The decibel scale is a logarithmic scale, which makes it very nasty to graph, so scaling the dBs from a 1-megaton nuke up to the dBs produced by the 91,467,495,219 megatons the Sun is equal to was a bit much for the addled remnants of my high school Advanced Vegie maths.
Besides that, explosions are apparently notoriously difficult to determine dBs for. The sound peaks very quickly, then trails off, and at higher dBs the sound becomes a shockwave, which behaves differently altogether.

Luckily, I found that dBs can be converted to watts and vice versa. The sun produces about 3.8e+26 watts every second, or 383 yottawatts (whatta lotta yotawatts… sorry), which, as you would expect, is an absolute pants-load of energy. This translates into 290dB, which is very loud indeed.

But, the Earth is 149,600,000 km away from the Sun. Applying the inverse square law, that tells us how sound intensity decreases with distance, I found the Sun would actually deliver about 125 dB here on the surface of the Earth – hardly a distant bowl of Rice Bubbles. 100dB is a jackhammer at 2 metres, 120 is your ear about a metre away from a train horn, and 130 is physical pain.

And what sound would you constantly hear at this excruciating level? Something like this, but immeasurably deeper: http://soi.stanford.edu/results/thr_modes_1_0_1_2_30s.au
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:20:54 AM EST
With thoughts like this bothering you all day and the ability to actually figure it out it's a wonder you find time for this place.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:22:55 AM EST
interesting....guess its possible to learn something while sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:22:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
So that’s what I spent a good deal of the weekend doing.



Wow.

Just....wow.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:23:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By prerunner221:
With thoughts like this bothering you all day and the ability to actually figure it out it's a wonder you find time for this place.


Hmm... his friend sent him that link, he didn't write it .

That said, I'm not 100% confident in this chap's ability to solve the problem correctly, although the answer he got was interesting!
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:24:16 AM EST
Does sounds increase in a linear fashion with energy released? 1 megaton = X DB of sound, so 2 megaton = 2X DB of sound?
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:28:49 AM EST

What if the earth were suddenly placed on a big treadmill that was running in the opposite direction but identical speed of the earth's orbit - would the earth suddenly be pulled directly into the sun?

Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:28:58 AM EST
Who woulda thought the sun makes noise. Cosmic.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:31:14 AM EST
You could have just said loud
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:37:57 AM EST
87 decibels
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:39:26 AM EST
Depends if it's daytime or nighttime on the sun.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:43:02 AM EST
I guess the next question is how big of a can would it take to suppress it, would it have quick detach mounts, and how long it would be before AAC published misleading adds claiming their competitor’s sun cans were inferior to theirs by comparing 5 billion year old cutaway versions of the competitor’s cans to their brand new samples.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:44:21 AM EST
The sun smells too loud.

(which is a great song, by the way)
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:47:42 AM EST
Funny you should ask, because I have in fact heard it. Not so loud, really, but quite odd.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:48:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By snoopaloop:
Depends if it's daytime or nighttime on the sun.


<golf clap>
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:49:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

What if the earth were suddenly placed on a big treadmill that was running in the opposite direction but identical speed of the earth's orbit - would the earth suddenly be pulled directly into the sun?



And if you shot a bullet at the airplane taking off from the giant treadmill would the gunshot be louder than the sound of the sun?
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:49:53 AM EST
Hm.. a fire is silent. the noise it makes the rushing of air. being nuclear it wouldn't need/draw in air. and unlinke a nuclear explosion, the sun's size is fairly stable i think.

a light bulb down not make noise. does an Arc lamp make noise? *shrug*
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:50:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

What if the earth were suddenly placed on a big treadmill that was running in the opposite direction but identical speed of the earth's orbit - would the earth suddenly be pulled directly into the sun?



That sound you now hear is my head exploding.

vmax84
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:55:46 AM EST
Originally Posted By NimmerMehr:
Hm.. a fire is silent. the noise it makes the rushing of air. being nuclear it wouldn't need/draw in air. and unlinke a nuclear explosion, the sun's size is fairly stable i think.

a light bulb down not make noise. does an Arc lamp make noise? *shrug*


The sun shoots off solar flares larger than the diameter of the Earth, and sheds huge amounts of mass. It would make a lot of noise, for sure, but let's just say I'm not convinced of the validity of the calculations posted in the OP.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:56:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By MrMojoRising:
Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
So that’s what I spent a good deal of the weekend doing.



Wow.

Just....wow.


I can't blame the gentleman for that type of behavior.

In fact, it's the main reason I got an iPhone - to hell with all the trendy fucks that just like people to see they have one. Several times, daily usually, I think of off-the-wall shit (or even some rational questions) and want an answer before I: 1) Forget the question (which probably isn't usually bad) or 2) have it annoy me all day long. Or hell, 3) have to actually WRITE something down to get to it later. Well, I now whip out the lil iPhone and have the ENTIRE intranets at my disposal, pr0n and all, if just such a question is asked.

So, to continue making a short story long, I understand this man's need to continually satisfy his curiousity. Hell, if they invented a RealDoll that could hold a wage-paying job I'd buy 3 and never leave my house - wife be damned. The internets and The Google and a RealDoll is all any sane man needs.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:58:30 AM EST
How loud would it be if it went supernova?
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:58:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 10:59:51 AM EST by bclark1]

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:

Holy shit, illteracy is rampant.



ETA: I typo like crazy as well, this one was just especially funny.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:01:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 11:04:49 AM EST by Swindle1984]
No idea how loud it is, but scientists have discovered that thanks to the "waves" along the sun's surface, it would sound like a giant bell. Coincidentally, the Bible makes reference to the sun being like a bell.

I also have recordings of radio waves from the sun. It just sounds like a constant, loud hiss of static. Radio waves from Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune are much more interesting. They sound like the soundtrack for a sci-fi horror movie.

It's hard to get Earth's natural radio waves without man-made radio waves interfering.


ETA: Really, really tired of discovering I wrote a completely different word than the one I intended. Need to stop typing on autopilot when I'm low on sleep.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:02:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By NimmerMehr:
Hm.. a fire is silent. the noise it makes the rushing of air. being nuclear it wouldn't need/draw in air. and unlinke a nuclear explosion, the sun's size is fairly stable i think.

a light bulb down not make noise. does an Arc lamp make noise? *shrug*

The sun vibrates.



Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:04:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

What if the earth were suddenly placed on a big treadmill that was running in the opposite direction but identical speed of the earth's orbit - would the earth suddenly be pulled directly into the sun?



LMAO
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:06:13 AM EST
Originally Posted By CZ75_9MM:
How loud would it be if it went supernova?


You wouldn't hear a thing.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:14:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By bclark1:

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:

Holy shit, illteracy is rampant.



ETA: I typo like crazy as well, this one was just especially funny.


Between people not having enough reading comprehension skills to figure out that I did not write this article, and my typo...the frustration is enough to make me want to paint the ceiling red.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:20:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By Messiah:
Originally Posted By CZ75_9MM:
How loud would it be if it went supernova?


You wouldn't hear a thing.


Yes, but how long would it be before you didn't hear it?

Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:29:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By Syphonius:
Originally Posted By Messiah:
Originally Posted By CZ75_9MM:
How loud would it be if it went supernova?


You wouldn't hear a thing.


Yes, but how long would it be before you didn't hear it?



Longer than about seven minutes, for sure.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 12:14:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By 100LL:
interesting....guess its possible to learn something while sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing

FFS, man...show a little ambition! Eat some Cheetos.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 12:21:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 12:30:54 PM EST by glockfan45]
Originally Posted By rodical:
Who woulda thought the sun makes noise. Cosmic.


All celestial bodies do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFFGdTI9KeA
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 12:28:24 PM EST
WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF THE SUN.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 12:49:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By zuuk:
WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF THE SUN.



Which is not even nearly as loud as that text.
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