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Songs of the Stars: the real Music of the Spheres

We humans are intensely visual creatures. For us “seeing is believing.” But there are other ways to know the world and universe.

We humans are intensely visual creatures. For us “seeing is believing.” But there are other ways to know the world and universe. For example, for many species of bats “hearing is believing”. 2500 years ago the Pythagoreans believed in a celestial Music of the Spheres, an idea that reverberated down the millennia in Western music, literature, art and science. We now know that there is a real music of the spheres: The stars have sounds in them that we can use to see right to their very cores. This multi-media lecture looks at the relationship of music to stellar sounds. You will hear the real sounds of the stars (with a key change and many changes of octave, of course) and you will even hear musical compositions where every member of the orchestra is a real (astronomical) star. You will learn about the latest discoveries using stellar sounds and vibrations, including stars that are giant diamonds the size of the Earth, and a class of the most peculiar stars in the sky that were discovered by the lecturer. You will even hear how stellar sounds are involved in the discovery of new planets outside the solar system. The talk will finish with results from the NASA Kepler Space Mission to search for Earth-sized planets, and see to the hearts of the stars with unprecedented precision by “listening” to the real Music of the Spheres.


Professor Don Kurtz | talks


Date and Time:

8 June 2010 at 12:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Royal Astronomical Society
Burlington House

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Free after 1230 on the day

Available from:

Reception at the Royal Astronomical Society

Additional Information:

Tube: Green Park
Tel: 020 7734 3307
Seats may be reserved in advance by Friends of the RAS and remaining seats will be offered on the day on a first-come first served basis. Doors open from 12.30.

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