The sound of the sun

This morning, I was laying in bed thinking about the sound the sun makes.  Do you know that nobody has heard the sun?  Sound waves need matter to propagate and space is a vacuum.  If sound could travel in a vacuum, would the sun make enough noise that we could hear it?

Light gets from the Sun to the Earth in 8.4 minutes.

Sound would 14 years to make the same trip assuming sea level atmosphere all the way to the sun.  However, add an iron rod between the Earth to the Sun, and noise would only take 343 days to make the trip because iron carries sound nearly 15 times faster than air.


The numbers in this calculation…

  • Speed of Light: 299,792,458 meters/second
  • Speed of Sound: 343 m/s
  • Speed of Sound in Iron: 5,130 m/s
  • Earth-Sun Distance: 152,000,000,000 meters
  • Time for Light: 507 seconds
  • Time for Sound: 443,148,688 seconds
  • Time for Sound in iron: 29,629,630 seconds