Friday, February 10, 2006

Middle C Supernova Explosions

Researchers have found in computer simulations that dying white dwarfs reaching the supernova stage audibly pulse for a short time at a pitch equivalent to middle C. From a University of Arizona press release:

"Collapsing material falls lopsidedly onto the inner core and soon excites oscillations at specific frequencies in the simulations. Within hundreds of milliseconds, the inner core vibrations become so intense that they actually generate sound waves. Typical sound frequencies are about 200 to 400 hertz, in the audible range bracketing middle C."

Link to article

Image courtesy of European Southern Observatory via Wikipedia

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