(ORDO NEWS) — NASA has released a ghostly audio clip of sound waves emanating from a supermassive black hole located 250 million light-years away.
The black hole is at the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster, and the acoustic waves emanating from it have been transposed 57 and 58 octaves up to be audible to human hearing.
The result (below), released by NASA in May, is an unearthly (apparently) howl that, to be honest, sounds not only creepy, but also a bit wicked.
For the first time, these sound waves were extracted and voiced.
What happens in this entry? We may not be able to hear sound in space, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
In 2003, astronomers discovered something truly amazing: acoustic waves propagating through a huge amount of gas surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster, which is now known for its eerie screams.
We couldn’t hear them at the current volume level. The waves include the lowest note in the universe ever discovered by man – well below the limits of human hearing.
But recent acoustic processing has not only raised the recording a full octave, but also added notes found from a black hole so we can get an idea of what they would sound like ringing in intergalactic space.
The lowest note found in 2003 is B flat, just over 57 octaves below middle B; with this sound, its frequency is 10 million years. The lowest note a human can hear has a frequency of one-twentieth of a second.
The sound waves were extracted radially, or outward, from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Perseus Cluster, and played counterclockwise from the center so that we can hear sounds in all directions from the supermassive black hole at frequencies 144 quadrillion and 288 quadrillion times higher than them. original frequency.
The result is eerie, as are many waves recorded from space and transposed into audio frequencies.
However, these sounds are not just a scientific curiosity. The viscous gas and plasma drifting between galaxies in galaxy clusters – the so-called intra-cluster medium – is denser and much, much hotter than the intergalactic medium outside of galaxy clusters.
Sound waves propagating through the intracluster medium are one of the mechanisms by which the intracluster medium can be heated as they carry energy through the plasma.
Because temperature helps regulate star formation, sound waves can play an important role in the evolution of galaxy clusters over long periods of time.
It is this heat that allows us to detect sound waves as well. Because the intracluster medium is so hot, it glows brightly in X-rays. The X-ray observatory “Chandra” made it possible not only to detect sound waves initially, but also to carry out the sonification project.
Another well-known supermassive black hole also received a soundtrack. M87*, the first black hole ever directly imaged as a result of the formidable effort of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, was simultaneously imaged by other instruments.
These include Chandra for X-rays, Hubble for visible light, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array for radio waves.
These images showed a colossal jet of material ejected from space just outside the supermassive black hole at a speed that appears to be faster than the speed of light in a vacuum (this is an illusion, but very cool). And now they, too, have been voiced.
To be clear, these data were not originally sound waves, like the audio recording from Perseus, but light at different frequencies. Radio data, with the lowest frequencies, has the lowest tone level in sonification. Optical data occupies the middle range, while X-rays occupy the upper one.
Turning such visual data into sound could be an interesting new way to understand cosmic phenomena, and this method also has scientific value.
Sometimes, transforming a dataset can reveal hidden details, allowing more detailed discoveries about the mysterious and vast universe around us.
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