+
Heroes

What's the difference between a dwarf and red giant? Just listen to the starlight.

The light of stars tells their stories.

Scientists have found a way to transform light from stars into sound — then they use the sound to understand them.

The sounds range from something like the sizzle of bacon to that uncomfortable noise that happens when you mistakenly switch to AM radio.

But the coolest part is what they can tell us about the stars themselves. Listen here; it's oddly soothing:


What the heck?

Yeah, I know. From what I can tell, it's the frequency of flickering starlight detected by the mighty Kepler telescope that is transformed into sound.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Dr. Bill Chaplin, an asteroseismologist (or star scientist, roughly) at Birmingham University, explains it for us normals by way of musical metaphor:

"Essentially stars resonate like a huge musical instrument. Stars make sounds naturally but we can't hear this as it is has to travel through space.

Like a musical instrument, stars are not uniformly solid all the way to their core, so the sound gets trapped inside the outer layers and oscillates around inside.

This makes the star vibrate causing it to expand and contract. We can detect this visually because the star gets brighter and dimmer and so we can reconstruct the sounds produced from these vibrations."



Turns out these vibrations can tell us some stuff about stars, like their size.

Stars come in all sorts of sizes, but let's talk about the "sounds" of three common ones and how they relate.

A dwarf star is a star that's roughly the size of our sun.

(I'll just let that sink in a bit, there, as you digest that in comparison to the other star sizes above.)

Anyway, dwarf stars spin faster than large stars because they are smaller. When light from these stars are turned into sound, the lack of "hiss" means the surface area is very small (thus, very little granulation). But because it spins so fast, the sunspots will make the light more irregular — meaning the tone is inconsistent. Go to 1:10 in the video to see what I mean; you can very easily identify how the low tone changes gradually.


Following this pattern, larger sized sub-giants have less of that irregular sunspot flickering because they spin at a slower rate. So the tone is less all over the place, but they have more of that hiss because they're bigger. You can hear this at 1:28 in the video.


Big, ol' red giants are crazy loud because they have tons of granulation and spin very slowly. This results in the maddening static sound you can hear at 1:45.

The coolest part? These sounds also give us insights into other worlds! (Maybe.)

For the brightest stars, our space buddy Kepler can detect when planets cross over the stars based on how the light is disrupted. And the measurements can be very, very accurate — which can give us some hints toward exploring planets that may support habitable life.

So there you have it: how star music helps us understand our universe. Science is rad!

The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less

"You can’t just say, 'I want to be a dentist,'” judge Simon Cowell told the duo.

Back in 2014, cello-playing brothers Emil and Dariel wowed "America’s Got Talent" audiences with their cello rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s "Purple Haze," even becoming finalists for the season.

After getting invited back to participate in "America’s Got Talent: All Stars," the duo once again rocked the house with an epic cover of "Take On Me." This classic A-ha tune has been covered a lot, so the fact that these two gave it fresh new life is no easy feat.

However, judge Simon Cowell remained unimpressed.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

A woman treats her miniature pig like a toddler and it even 'talks' with electronic buttons

Merlin will tap buttons that say “eat,” “outside” and “ice cream.”

Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash

A woman treats her pig like a toddler and the internet can't get enough.

Pigs are cute. Well, piglets are cute, but they usually don't stay those tiny little snorting things very long. That is unless you get a mini pig and name it something majestic like Merlin. (I would've gone with Hamlet McBacon, but no one asked me.)

Mina Alali, a TikTok user from California, has been going viral on the internet for her relationship with Merlin, her miniature pig. Of course, there are plenty of folks out there with pigs—mini pigs, medium pigs, pigs that weigh hundreds of pounds and live in a barn with a spider named Charlotte. But not everyone carries their pig around on adventures like it's their child.

Alali's videos of her sweet interactions with her little pig have gotten a lot of people wanting their own piggy, but training Merlin wasn't always easy. According to Yahoo Finance, the 25-year-old told SWNS that she has wanted a pig her whole life and finding Merlin was a "dream come true," but she wasn't expecting how challenging it would be to train him. If you've never been around pigs, then you may not know that they squeal—a lot—and unless you're living on an actual farm, that could be a problem.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

More than seven thousand people shared their best ideas to stop mass shootings. Here are the best.

Everyone agrees mass shootings need to end. But what can really be done?

A makeshift memorial after the 2019 El Paso mass shooting.

As of January 24, 2023, at least 69 people have been killed in 39 mass shootings across the United States . The deadliest shooting happened on January 21 in Monterey Park, California, when a 72-year-old man shot 20 people, killing 11. On January 23, a 66-year-old man killed 7 people and injured another in a shooting in Half Moon Bay, California.

It’s hard to see these stories in the news every few weeks—or days—and not get desensitized, especially when lawmakers have made it clear that they will not do anything substantive to curb the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.

After the assault weapons ban, which had been in effect for 10 years, lapsed in 2004, the number of mass shootings tripled.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

People rally behind a 12-year-old actress who was 'humiliated' with a 'Razzie' nomination

The parody awards show has now enforced an age limit rule to its nominations.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the 2022 film 'Firestarter'

Since the early 80s, the Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the "Razzies," has offered a lighthearted alternative to the Oscars, which, though prestigious, can sometimes dip into the pretentious. During the parody ceremony, trophies are awarded to the year’s worst films and performances as a way to "own your bad," so the motto goes.

However, this year people found the Razzies a little more than harmless fun when 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated for "Worst Actress" for her performance in the 2022 film "Firestarter." She was 11 when the movie was filmed.

Sadly, this is not the first time a child has received a Razzie nom. Armstrong joins the ranks of Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," as well as Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated three times.

Armstrong's nomination resulted in a flood of comments from both industry professionals and fans who felt the action was cruel and wanted to show their support for the young actress.

Keep ReadingShow less