Black hole, the dark cauldron from which nothing comes out, has just been made more ghostly and ominous as Nasa releases new sound emerging from the cosmic object. The American space agency picked up the sound from the black hole at the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster.
A black hole is formed from the death of a star with such a high gravitational field that the matter gets squeezed into the small space under it, trapping the light of the dead star. The gravity is so strong due to the matter being squeezed into a tiny space. Since no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible.
While it is known that sound cannot travel in a vacuum, the galaxy cluster has so much gas, that the Chandra observatory actually picked up sound, which was then amplified, and mixed with other data, to hear a black hole.
Astronomers have said that a galaxy cluster has copious amounts of gas that envelop the hundreds or even thousands of galaxies within it, providing a medium for the sound waves to travel. The sound data was first captured in 2003 and it was extracted to make it audible.
The sound was the result of pressure waves sent out by the black hole causing ripples in the cluster’s hot gas that could be translated into a note.
Nasa said that humans cannot hear some 57 octaves below middle C, however, a new sonification brings more notes to this black hole sound machine, which is the translation of astronomical data into sound.
“It was not intentionally made ominous, but the sound you hear is amplified a lot, and other sounds are interpreted from light data. One of the motivations to create such data sonification is the desire to share the science with more people,” Nasa said on the ghostly nature of the sound coming from the black hole.
“The sound waves were extracted in radial directions, that is, outwards from the center. The signals were then resynthesized into the range of human hearing by scaling them upward by 57 and 58 octaves above their true pitch,” Nasa said.
Nasa also released sounds coming from the black hole at the center of Messier 87, which recently gained fame after it was pictured by the Event Horizon Telescope. While the new sonification does not feature the EHT data, it uses data from other telescopes that observed M87 on much wider scales at roughly the same time.
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