What does a supernova sound like?

Are these catastrophic explosions really as loud as they look?

A supernova is a stellar explosion of epic proportions

A supernova is a stellar explosion of epic proportions

Asked by Sophie Baxter

Sound itself can only be transmitted through a medium and so in space we cannot hear a supernova.  However since a supernova is a giant explosion triggered by the final death throes of a massive star, if we could hear it, we would hear an incredibly loud blast.

Some scientists have gone a step further and actually tried to translate the huge amount of electromagnetic radiation produced by a supernova into sound.  And what does a supernova sound like when you translate the high frequency electromagnetic radiation into lower frequency sound that humans can hear? Well, a lot like a big explosion really!

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble

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