spaceSpace and PhysicsspaceAstronomy

What Does The Sun Sound Like? Immensely Noisy, Apparently

The only reason we don't hear the Sun is that sound doesn't travel through the vacuum of space.


Tom Hale


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

A NASA image of the sun and solar flares.

An image of the Sun showing the rise and fall of the solar cycle.

Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO

For such an unbelievably mighty force, the Sun seems to be awfully quiet from Earth. However, we only perceive it as a silent ball of white heat because sound can’t travel through space. If it could, the noise of our Solar System’s centerpiece would be very, very annoying. 

The Sun is essentially a giant nuclear fusion reaction, pumping out so much energy it heats up and lights our whole planet, not to mention the rest of the Solar System. 


Along with incredible amounts of heat and light, it also pumps out significant quantities of sound. We do not hear it, however, since sound cannot travel through space as it is a vacuum that contains no particles to carry the vibrations.

In a 2015 Reddit thread, Craig DeForest, a leading heliophysicist from the Southwest Research Institute’s Department of Space Studies answered a question about how loud the Sun would be if sound could hypothetically travel through space as it does through the atmosphere of Earth. 

After some calculations, he explained that the Sun would theoretically blare out a noise of around 100 decibels, almost as loud as standing next to a speaker at a rock concert or busy nightclub. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider the Sun is 150 million kilometers (over 93,000,000 miles) away from us. 

“The Sun is immensely loud,” he explained. “Good thing sound doesn't travel through space, eh?” 


He added that we have some idea of the quality of sound thanks to numerous scientific instruments, such as the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI), mounted on the SOHO spacecraft, orbiting the Sun 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Earth.

The sound waves are so deep they are normally at frequencies that are far too low for the human ear to pick up. It is also not a singular tone, but an intensely complex pattern of acoustical waves, a bit like a bell. 

To make the sounds audible to our ears, scientistsmust speed them up by tens of thousands of times, compressing weeks of vibrations into a few seconds. The result you hear, therefore, is very refined and filtered. The end result of this process is a low, pulsing hum; a bit creepy, but oddly calming.


“The actual unfiltered sound is far more cacophonous, and to the ear would sound less like a resonant sound and more like noise,” Dr DeForest explained in the Reddit post. 

Judging by the audio clips of Sun sonification, it looks like Earth is still the best-sounding planet in the Solar System. For the love of god, though, don't let this audio fall into the hands of any experimental electronic artists.


spaceSpace and PhysicsspaceAstronomy
  • tag
  • solar system,

  • sun,

  • solar activity,

  • sound,

  • noise,

  • Astronomy,

  • audio recordings