Star Voices
(Credit: NASA)


Our universe is full of different sounds. In the depths of space, stars in all of their evolutionary phases - from their childhoods to their final stages - are ringing like different bells. The stars’ voices are very different from each other: huge stars (such as red giants) oscillate slowly and produce very deep tones, while small, compact stars (such as white dwarfs) pulsate rapidly with a higher pitch.

Not only does the vacuum in space prevent us from hearing the voices of the stars, they also lie in frequency ranges that our ear cannot perceive, like a dog whistle. The oscillations, however, cause tiny, regular changes in the starlight, which are so small as if one were looking at the flickering of a candle from a distance of one kilometre. Astrophysicists use these variations of stellar light to learn more about the interior structure of the stars – similar as a physician uses ultrasound or X-ray images to look inside the human body.

Listen to five examples of star voices, which were made audible for our ears: a star kid, a young adult star, our sun which is a middle-aged adult star, a red giant in its late stages of evolution and a white dwarf at the end of its life.

Listening to „Star Voices“

01 Star Kid

Star Voices: Star Kid
(Credit: NASA)

02 Young Adult Star

Star Voices: Young Adult Star
(Credit: NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatorymage)

03 Sun

Star Voices: Sun
(Credit: SOHO (ESA & NASA))

04 Red Giant

Star Voices: Red Giant
(Credit: Konstanze Zwintz)

05 White Dwarf

Star Voices: White Dwarf
(Credit: Travis Metcalfe & Ruth Bazinet, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Research Project

Tracing the early lives of stars, Konstanze Zwintz, Institute of Astro- and Particle Physics (Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics)

This micro exhibition is part of the 350th anniversary of the University of Innsbruck.


Anna Bente, Sebastian Marx, Institute for Design (Faculty of Architecture)

Project members

David Dünsser, Dominik Ender


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