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Q & A: On distant planets is there sound?

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Most recent answer: 03/10/2010
Q:
On distant planets is there sound? Also why can we hear things in space?
- jessica (age 12)
Inver Grove Hieghts, Minnesota USA
A:
Hi Jessica,
Remember, that the sound that we hear comes from small pressure vibrations in the air.  These pressure vibrations make our eardrums vibrate and sensitive organs in the ear including the  cochlea make sense of these and send information to the brain.  Back to your question:  If there is no atmosphere, that means no pressure vibrations, that means no sound heard by the ear.  Some planets have atmospheres and could sustain sound pressure waves.  For example Mars has an atmosphere but it's mainly carbon dioxide.  You could hear there but you couldn't breath the air and live there because there is almost no oxygen.

In space, there is no atmosphere so there is no sound. 

LeeH

(published on 03/10/2010)

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