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Thread: Does the Earth make noise/ sound?

  1. #1 Does the Earth make noise/ sound? 
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    I was wondering if the Earth makes a sound(s)? not including its inhabitants, animals, winds or the like. I'm thinking that an object of it's size would have to make some sound. If So, where might I hear this sound(s). What kind of eqiupment, if any, would I need? Also, if it does, would you be able to hear it in space (believeing that space does not conduct sound). Would it be plausable to hear it on the moon? I read somewhere that our Sun makes sound. I'm guessing that if the earth does that it would be somekind of white type noise? Well I'm very interested in others input. Thanks for your time.


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  3. #2 Listen 
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    If you want to listen to the earth speak; go tornado chasing or go and see a volcanic eruption, or live in a place where there is pleanty of seismic activity.

    Sound is merely vibration of molecules and can ONLY travel through this medium; it doe not have the benefit of radiation like light does; so in answer to your question. From outerspace NOTHING not even a local supernova would make a sound. It WOULD however make a sound if you were standing within the supernova's initial gas moments before the explosion, but then you'd be dead before you heard it anyway.

    Hope this helps.


    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  4. #3  
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    Great question. 'Yes' if one thinks of sound as a series of vibrating waves rather than as a sound as a phenomenon needing to be heard by human ears.
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  5. #4 Okay 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Okay......Well in THAT case ALL matter makes "sound" unless its temperature is 0 Kelvin.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  6. #5 Re: Okay 
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins
    Okay......Well in THAT case ALL matter makes "sound" unless its temperature is 0 Kelvin.
    Yes, energy is all around us in every particle. It's quite independent of any organism being around to sense it with eyes, ears and so on.
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  7. #6  
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    sound requires a means to travel on. in space you can yell all you want but no one could hear you. the very fast movements of thing in space or the burning noises of the sun are muted when substance is missing or means of travel.

    some are trying to link thought waves as energy and/or if you add noise these energies would travel at C in space and become part of what must be a mess. but this, if energy is not re-instated or become sound to our ears when it hits the atmosphere.
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  8. #7  
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    I don't have the answer but i liked the question very much... gr8 thought.. :-D
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  9. #8 Re: Okay 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins
    Okay......Well in THAT case ALL matter makes "sound" unless its temperature is 0 Kelvin.
    Yes, energy is all around us in every particle. It's quite independent of any organism being around to sense it with eyes, ears and so on.

    No! sound is a series of compression waves they have a clear construction, the atoms 'jostling around' do not send out waves of energy - if they did they would be expending energy and that should mean they decay.
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  10. #9  
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    "in space you can yell all you want but no one could hear you."

    Question about the statement above ..... So does this mean that we are not able to produce vice, or that we produce voice but its not able to travel.

    Another question .... if we had two people, lets say 1m apart, would they be able to hear one another, no matter how loud they speak? (and lets ignore the fact that its impossible to have people outside our atmosphere without space suite )
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  11. #10  
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    Well, you can't ignore that fact because if you weren't in a space suit, the air would simply rush out of your lungs, so speech would not be possible, even in the instant before you die. However, we can imagine putting a loudspeaker in outer space. No matter how much it vibrates it would not make a sound. A microphone placed right next to it, but not in contact with it, would not detect anything.
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  12. #11  
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    As other people have noted, sound is simply an compressional-extensional acoustic wave that propogates through some medium. When we speak, we effect a wave in the air of some particular wavelength that is audible to another's ears. The Earth, with all it's seismic activity does this too, so why don't we hear it?

    The answer may, in part, rely on the strength of the waves within the Earth, their wavelength, and especially the lithosphere-atmosphere interface which is not very efficient. Density contrasts tend to reflect more of a wave's energy than is propagated, which is why seismology is such an effective tool in oil exploration - every little lithological and structural interface reflects back up to the geophone, allowing us to image the subsurface.

    As a thought expirement, think of the oldschool method of exploration seismology: dynamite. You set off the charge - *BANG* - a HUGE explosion that sends a wave into the Earth. But when that wave reflects back to the surface, do you hear a second, huge BANG? Why not?
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  13. #12  
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    yes it does. This is the natural seismic activity of the earth. Even in place where earthquake are not occuring, there are permanent micro seismic noise.
    The frequency are very low, below 7-8 Hz. So human cannot hear it. The energy is also pretty low.
    However, by putting microphone (geophone) inside the ground, one can "listen" this noise. Then it is filtered among the noise of cars, caterpillar, atmospheric effects, tidal effects of the moon, other earthquake etc... to get an image of the subsurface.
    This is called passive seismic.
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  14. #13  
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    A video talking about sounds from the collision of solar wind particles and Earth magnetic field
    Sound by the Earth
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  15. #14  
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    Hi People
    This is an interesting topic.
    On the original question, I agree with Jellyologist that because everything is in motion, everything makes a sound. That's not the same as being able to hear the sound though, as others have pointed out.

    But I wanted to say that the Milky Way galaxy is made of gas, and I have heard that there are huge wave-fronts of sound energy traveling around the galaxy and that it is in the high-pressure parts of these waves that stars are made. If that is so, we live in the compressional part of a gigantic sound wave.
    So maybe there's a bit more to the question of whether sound can be transmitted in space.
    Attempting to answer the new question of whether sound is transmitted through space, I don't believe that even the most sensitive microphone array on the Moon could listen to a Beethoven concert on Earth. But why not?
    I'm thinking that although there is a path for sound from the Earth to the Moon, the bandwidth of the path is determined by the number of colliding molecules that transmit this sound energy.
    Collisions are very rare, and I think that bandwidth must be absolutely restricted to frequencies below half the "collision count/second" within paths that lead from the Earth to the Moon. (This by the Nyquist Sampling Theorem)
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