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Can sound travel through outer space?

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A common misconception, but Space is not a perfect vacuum and can be used to transport sound, even from huge distances.

"It's often said that in space, you can't hear yourself scream. True enough, more or less, but rather misleading. Recently, several readers wrote to ask how a B-flat emanating from a black hole could be detected from 250 million light-years away, as we reported earlier this month.

The answer, along with related interesting facts, reveals that silence is in the ear of the beholder, and ears come in a variety of configurations.

Sound can travel through space, because space is not the total vacuum it's often made out to be. Atoms of gas give the universe a ubiquitous atmosphere of sorts, albeit a very thin one.

Sound, unlike light, travels by compressing a medium. On Earth, the atmosphere works well as a sound-carrying medium, as does water. The planet itself is very adept at transmitting an earthquake's seismic waves, a form of sound.

Space, though not as efficient, can also serve as a medium." (NASA)


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