Do the Meteors Make Noise?

When at the night sky appears some large meteor, is it actually possible to hear it passing by, asks Live Science? 

Back in the centuries we can find many people who have said that with the falling of the meteors they also have heard and strange sound as well.  In 817, a huge meteor shower was observed in China, which, according to many witnesses, has been accompanied with hissing and humming.

A similar meteor sound effect is also registered in 1719, when the fireball passes in the skies over England. The astronomer Edmund Halley then wrote that, many messages was recorded about how the passing on its way meteor, was also whistling. Halley himself who is the discoverer of the famous Halley’s comet, however, remains skeptical of such data. He believes that they are products of imagination and that, if remote meteor did sound, it will reach us after the meteor passed, not at once, because sound travels much slower than light.

In 1978 a large meteor passes over New South Wales in Australia and local media are literally inundated with stories of people who claimed to have heard the meteor. The movement of the meteors emits electromagnetic radiation in the visible spectrum, but in fact they also emit very low frequency radio waves (VLF) falling below 30 kilohertz, and this is steel not very good explored. The VLF waves travels with the speed of light – not the sound,  and they come to us in the same time as we see above passing meteor. To be heard by more people, however, these waves need a physical object that can create sound.

Exactly that kind of experiment in lab tried and succeed prof. Colin Kay, a physicist at the University of Newcastle in Australia.He creates a hissing sounds in ordinary objects exposing them on VLF radiation. According to him, this method can be used finding many meteors which are not visible to us just by detecting the VLF radiation which they emit.

“What makes this discovery interesting is that people have witnessed this phenomenon for centuries, but we can not investigate until now,” said Denis Galagar, a physicist at the Space Center “Marshal” of NASA.

Have you ever heard the sound of a meteor? Share your experience.  Please comment bellow.

2 Responses

  • This article was most interesting as I once heard the sound of a meteor! It was back in the late 1980’s during the time of the annual Perseid meteor shower. I was
    then in my late teens and stil living with my parents in Hoyland, Barnsley South Yorkshire. It was very late one night and the skies were clear so my ex boyfriend and I took our two family dogs out for a walk on the nearby field to go ‘meteor spotting ‘ which I still love to do sometimes. We stayed out for about an hour and saw around 16 meteors. One was particularly impressive, it was a fireball meteor, it came in somewhat slower than the others, it was also considerably larger , with an orangeish colour to it with bits and pieces coming off it as it broke up in the atmosphere, hissing and crackling as it Both my ex and I were totally blown away, it was absolutely breathtaking and all theseyears later, it’s a moment I’ll never forget!

    • WoW, That is really really interesting Lynn!
      Honestly I had some doubts when I was writing this article because I have never heard the sound of meteor, but now I’m 100% sure that they do make sounds! Probably not all of them but some of them for sure. On the next meteor shower I will find some quiet place and I will wide open my ears!!!
      Thanks for sharing this experience with us Lynn. Have a wonderful day!

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