University of Birmingham
The eerie music comes from a cluster of 13-billion-year-old stars
Using a technique called asteroseismology, the astrophysicists studied the oscillations and found tiny changes in brightness caused by sound trapped inside the stars. The team reported the detection of the ‘resonant acoustic oscillations’ from the ancient stars in the Royal Astronomical Society journal Monthly Notices .
By measuring these celestial sounds, the team was able to tell how old stars are, as well as their mass.
“The age scale of stars has so far been restricted to relatively young stars, limiting our ability to probe the early history of our Galaxy.
“In this research we have been able to prove that asteroseismology can give precise and accurate ages for the oldest stars in the Galaxy,” said study co-author Dr Guy Davies.
As well as producing bizarre sounds, studying the ancient clusters can also give scientists a better idea of the ancient history of the galaxy.
“Just as archaeologists can reveal the past by excavating the earth, so we can use sound inside the stars to perform Galactic archaeology,” commented the University of Birmingham’s Professor Bill Chaplin, who is also leader of the international collaboration on asteroseismology.