Astronomy Myth #2 – Space is noisy

We have all heard the rumble of the Spaceship Enterprise’s engines on TV, and some of may even have heard stars explode in the movies, but the truth is that sound cannot travel through the vacuum of space.

To hear sound, there must a medium to propagate the sound waves, and since much of space contains less than a few molecules per cubic kilometre, there is nothing to propagate the waves we would perceive as sound. However, in denser regions, such as inside gas and dust clouds, which are exceedingly tenuous by the way, it might just be possible to perceive sound if the source is energetic enough.