The American space agency, NASA on Sunday the sound of a “black hole”, reportedly located 250 million light-years away. The sound that was recorded in the vacuum of space is somewhat spooky! Hear it below:
The misconception that there is no sound in space originates because most space is a ~vacuum, providing no way for sound waves to travel. A galaxy cluster has so much gas that we’ve picked up actual sound. Here it’s amplified, and mixed with other data, to hear a black hole! pic.twitter.com/RobcZs7F9e
— NASA Exoplanets (@NASAExoplanets) August 21, 2022
NASA also explained how sound was recorded in the vacuum of space. “The misconception that there is no sound in space originates because most space is a ~vacuum, providing no way for sound waves to travel. A galaxy cluster has so much gas that we’ve picked up actual sound. Here it’s amplified, and mixed with other data, to hear a black hole,” NASA’s account dedicated to exoplanets tweeted.
Sound of a black hole
Back in 2003, astronomers detected acoustic waves propagating through the copious amounts of gas surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster, out of human hearing range. The actual sound has been made amplified for us to hear. It is being heard 144 quadrillion and 288 quadrillion times higher than their original frequency. (A quadrillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000.) The data comes from Chandra X-ray Observatory which captured data from the ripples in the Perseus cluster, visible in X-ray. The recording was released back in May for NASA’s Black Hole Week.
In its blog, NASA explained, “Astronomers discovered that pressure waves sent out by the black hole caused ripples in the cluster’s hot gas that could be translated into a note — one that humans cannot hear some 57 octaves below middle C.” NASA also has a sonification of the black hole located around 54 million light years away at the center of Galaxy Messier 87, or M87, the one captured in humanity’s first image of a black hole through the Event Horizon Telescope.
NASA has produced similar sonifications of a distant galaxy and the sound of each time an exoplanet was discovered. The agency has also recorded the eerie, extraterrestrial sounds of Mars.