15 – The Sound of the Universe

Professor Mark Whittle is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Virginia and has been part of their academic team since 1986. He specialises in stars, galaxies, cosmology, solar systems, and various observation techniques. His research focuses on the nuclear activity in galaxies and uses radio and optical telescopes. Mark is also fascinated with the different sounds the universe makes, studying sound waves that were emitted billions of years ago and weaving them together to know what that part – and time – of space sounded like.

Mark joins me today to discuss what space – and some of its heavenly bodies – sound like. He shares his deep fascination with the sound of the universe and how sound can be heard in space. He explains what we would hear given the opportunity to be at the centre of the sun or near a gas cloud millions of lightyears away. Mark also describes some of the recent discoveries in space sounds and what the Big Bang would have sounded like.

“There’s another way of contacting the universe – and that is through sound. There are various places in space where genuine soundwaves move.”

Professor Mark Whittle

This week on the Sound Business Podcast:

● Mark’s fascination with the creation and evolution of the universe
● How sound can be heard in the emptiness of space
● What certain heavenly bodies sound like
● The various global modes that the heavenly bodies emit
● What we would hear if we were in the centre of the sun or a gas cloud
● Recent discoveries in space sounds and what they sound like
● What black holes sound like and why space “wiggles”
● The role of sound in the Big Bang and what we would have heard
● The boundaries of space and how it gives notes in the cosmic sounds
● How light emits pressure and contributes to space sound waves

Connect with Professor Mark Whittle:

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