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Is there sound in space?


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This question may seems similar to a question already asked (Can you hear sound in space?) however, it is a very good question for the intellectually curious mind. So, is there sound in space? The answer is no. Sound is vibrations of air particles, so any “sound” that is heard in space has to come from other means such as from the electromagnetic spectrum and these waves are not sound. Light waves and radio waves (which are apart of the electromagnetic spectrum) in space, can be interpreted by radio equipment and then be translated into sound.

In space there are sound sources (e.g. explosion of stars, collision of asteroids, solar storms and so on) but they do not (and cannot) travel to be detected as how we hear sound here on Earth. Space being an almost perfect vacuum is not an efficient medium for sound to travel and be heard by ears. However, sounds can travel by air in the spacecraft through the metal of the ship. You can hear sounds in the spacecraft only due to air particles inside.

Technically, if you are in a spaceship and it explodes, you would hear it before you die due to the air particles in the ship. Likewise, if another spacecraft was to explode not far from your ship, objects flying from that ship would hit your ship sending sound waves through the ship's structure by vibration. This vibration would then be passed on to the air particles in your ship thus, causing you to hear it. Also, the exploding ship would release gases that allow sound to travel along its part but, this would very quickly diminish since the gas particles would readily spread out in the vastness of space (losing its density). Therefore, sound would die very quickly over a very short distance and any sounds carried by the gases from the explosion, would still be too faint for you to hear it in your space ship. If it is possible for any sound to be detected it could only be detectable only by the most sensitive microphone and not the ear. So, strictly speaking, in this case it is possible for sound to travel a very short distance but all in all, space is silent.

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