The Stars Do Sing

9th September 2014

The poem Silence of the Stars by David Wagoner mentions that natives in the Kalahari desert can hear the stars sing. I wondered whether there was any science behind it, and came across this:

Scientists are using stellar seismology (or asteroseismology) to study the structure of pulsating stars. Star “earthquakes” do make sounds, but we can’t hear them because there’s no air to carry them. So scientists recreated the sound, which this article compares to wind blowing over a microphone.

Tonal variations help scientists understand the surface gravity and age of a given star. Some sound like radio static, others like they’re purring. Lovely.

1 thought on “The Stars Do Sing

  1. Leni

    While this is a cool post, referring to inhabitants of the Kalahari as “natives” can be seen as pejorative. Preferable terms include “Kalahari foragers”, “Kalahari hunter-gatherers” or what about just “people who live in the Kalahari”?

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