Q:

Why is there no sound in outer space?

A:

Quick Answer

Humans cannot hear sounds in outer space, because in order for the human ear to detect sound, a sound wave must have a medium, like air or liquid, to push and travel through, eventually exerting that pressure on the eardrum and allowing the ear to hear the sound. There is not enough of a medium of molecules in space through which sound can properly travel, which is why the human ear cannot detect sound in outer space.

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Full Answer

It is a common misconception that there is no medium at all in outer space. It is not that a medium is non-existent in outer space; it is simply so sparse — the molecules and particles making up the medium in outer space are so far apart and spread out — that a sound wave cannot properly cause a collision among the particles which is required to create a sound for the human ear to hear. NASA's Voyager I spacecraft was able to detect a wave of particles from the sun's solar winds. There are also plasma waves released throughout space that theoretically release sound. However, the human ear is unable to detect these particle waves and therefore would not hear them. These particle waves can only be detected by advanced and sophisticated machinery intended for that particular purpose.

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    Can sound travel through outer space?

    A:

    Sound waves require a medium, such as air or water, in order to travel, and outer space does not contain a sufficient medium for those sound waves to be able to travel. When a sound is released from a source, the wave causes molecules in a medium to vibrate and collide with each other, resulting in a sound that ears can detect. However, since molecules in outer space are spaced too far apart to interact properly, vibrate and collide with each other, sound cannot be heard in space by the human ear.

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    What is the path of sound through the ear?

    A:

    A sound wave enters the outer ear, then goes through the auditory canal, where it causes vibration in the eardrum. The vibration makes three bones in the middle ear move. The movement causes vibrations that move through the fluid of the cochlea, which is located in the inner ear. The vibrations stimulate small hair cells in the inner ear, which transforms them into electrical impulses the brain interprets as sound.

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    What are some possible causes of noises in your ear?

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    Possible causes of noises in the ears without an outside sound source include middle, inner ear or eardrum damage; ear tumor; excessive earwax; or regular exposure to incredibly loud sounds, according to Healthline. Hearing loss or taking certain medications can also lead to tinnitus, the medical term for ear noises.

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    What causes a humming sound in the ear?

    A:

    Certain conditions, such as ear infections, eardrum ruptures, circulatory problems, neurological disorders and aging, can cause patients to hear unusual sounds within the ears, states WebMD. These symptoms describe tinnitus, which occurs when patients hear sounds that do not originate from their environment. Pulsatile tinnitus describes sounds resulting from movement of muscles around the ear, circulation or changes in the ear canal. Nonpulsatile tinnitus results from nerve issues within the ear.

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