Moss on: Sounds of the Sun


What does the sun sound like?

An interesting question, and one that would get your ears burned off if you tried to answer it literally.

What does Jupiter sound like or meteors hitting the atmosphere?

Tom Ashcraft had the same questions. And unlike most people, he decided to find out the answers.

Ashcraft set up his own radio telescope array at his New Mexico home and interfaced it with an audio recorder. He has recorded (and dated) mono files at select frequencies of celestial events. He often combines differing frequencies of the same event into a “stereo” file.

He often records solar flares and other “bursts” from our much larger neighbor. You’ll be forgiven if you think they sound like a rainstorm beating on a tin roof, or eggs frying.

Meteors pelting our upper atmosphere sound like a freeform music experiment involving wind chimes or MIDI notes.

His Heliotown Web site has his recordings and other links reflecting his variety of interests (some audio-oriented). There is even an NPR “All Things Considered” profile of him available.

Share This Post