Audio animations of pulsating stars
When a star pulsates, it does so in many modes simultaneously, each with
a slightly different frequency. The periods of the pulsations are
typically many minutes, but speeding them up by a factor of 300,000 in
these computer simulations brings the pulsations into the audible range.
Each recording lasts for 8 seconds, which corresponds to about 30 days of
- The Sun is a fairly average star, about 4.5
billion years old. Pulsations in the Sun have been studied extensively
over the past few decades, particularly by the SOHO satellite.
- alpha Centauri A, the brighter of the
two pointers to the Southern Cross and the nearest star to our own solar
system. This star is very similar to the Sun, but is a bit bigger and
probably a bit older. The computer-generated recording shows oscillations
from this star.
- beta Hydri is also a bright southern star,
located quite close to the south celestial pole. This star gives us an
idea of the future fate of our Sun, being about 7 billion years old.
These sound animations were made using the Vislab facility by Andrew Lyons,
a PhD student working in music composition at Sydney Conservatorium of
Last updated 20-Dec-2005 by Tim Bedding