What is Space
Space is everything and everywhere around us; it’s the void between planets, galaxies, and all other celestial objects. It’s huge and mostly unexplored. Space is often considered completely silent but loud in some parts. Black holes have been known to generate gravitational waves like ripples through a pond.
Space has a lot of different sounds that can be heard when things interact with each other. For example, NASA detected the sound of two black holes colliding, which was made in the distant past.
What is Sound
A sound is a form of energy that travels in waves through matter. It’s also known as pressure which can travel through materials like air, metal, or water. Sound travels in waves, so each particle that makes up the thing being vibrated moves closer and further from each other. We often feel these movements as different sensations; for example, if we bang a drum, it causes it to vibrate, and this sends sound waves out.
That’s why the sound of an instrument or voice can be detected. The vibrations enter your body, and you can detect them through different senses like hearing and touch. Sound waves are also called longitudinal waves. They move through a medium in a single direction, so they only travel as far as the medium can support it. An example is when you sing underwater, instead of air like on earth, the sound will be absorbed quickly and won’t travel far.
The sound of planets orbiting stars has also been detected, and the sun emits chirps and whistles because of its activity. It’s also been shown that space itself is a gigantic radio emitting background noise called cosmic microwave background radiation.
How Does Sound Travel
Sounds are vibrations that travel in waves. When something vibrates, it causes the air around it to move. These movements of air pressure can then travel through the atmosphere as sound waves.
For sound to travel, it needs a medium to travel through, like particles. Air molecules are too small to be affected by gravity, so they travel as waves. The further the sound wave travels, the more stretched out it becomes.
In space, sound cannot travel through air molecules like on earth. Since space is a vacuum, sound cannot travel through. Solar winds and black holes can produce sound in space through their vibrating particles in some parts.
Reflecting objects in the solar system also make a lot of noise. Saturn’s rings make a continual ringing sound when they collide with each other and the planet’s moons. There’s also evidence that sound was produced by violent events in the universe’s past. For example, when two black holes collided, they probably blasted out a huge burst of sound. As humans extend their reach into space, we’ll continue to hear more of these different sounds and completely new ones.
How Can Space be Silent if it’s not a True Vacuum?
Space isn’t super silent. Most people know space as the silent void between planets, stars, and galaxies. But most don’t realize that there’s a lot of activity happening in space; for example, black holes are well known for generating gravitational waves when they collide.
Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time and can be detected using technology on earth. These waves travel at the speed of light, carrying information from events long ago, like when two black holes collided or even the big bang.
The big bang is the origin of our universe and was produced from the collision of two black holes. It’s been predicted that there are cosmic backgrounds of gravitational waves from the big bang because we don’t observe many gravitational waves on earth. However, astronomers detected cosmic microwave background radiation, which is electromagnetic radiation, so it doesn’t make sense that there isn’t background noise from gravitational waves.
Space is often considered a silent environment, but some sounds are produced. The sounds of planets, black holes, and even solar winds can be detected in the depths of space.