If you really want to intensify your Monday existential dread, NASA has made the sound a black hole makes available.
The Alien catchphrase, “In space no one can hear you scream,” may be well known to you, but it doesn’t seem to apply to the noise produced by black holes.
The US space agency said that it has managed to capture the “real sound” of a black hole, amplify it, and combine it with other data to produce this creepy little remix, dispelling the “misconception” that there is no sound in space:
The notion that there is no sound in space comes from the fact that much of it is a vacuum, which prevents sound waves from travelling there, according to a tweet from the NASA Exoplanets account.
“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!”
More information on how NASA was able to “remix” the black hole’s noise at the centre of the Perseus galaxy cluster was provided in a statement made earlier this year.
The agency explained that the black hole had been associated with sound since 2003, adding: “This is because 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.
“Now a new sonification brings more notes to this black hole sound machine.
“In some ways, this sonification is unlike any other done before because it revisits the actual sound waves discovered in data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.”
As shown in the video above, NASA was able to employ sonification to make the sounds available at a pitch that people can hear.
Hold onto your hats for the scientific part if you’re curious in how they accomplished that.
“The sound waves were extracted in radial directions, that is, outwards from the centre,” NASA continued.
“The signals were then resynthesised into the range of human hearing by scaling them upward by 57 and 58 octaves above their true pitch.
“Another way to put this is that they are being heard 144 quadrillion and 288 quadrillion times higher than their original frequency.”