Can there be a sound in space? Yes, there is! In fact, NASA just revealed an audio recording of a black hole.
This was uploaded on the internet via a tweet by NASA Exoplanets, the team representing “all of NASA’s missions: looking for–and finding–new worlds.” Apparently, the space being soundless is a popular misconception. “The misconception that there is no sound in space originates because most space is a ~vacuum, providing no way for sound waves to travel,” they said. However, “a galaxy cluster has so much gas that we’ve picked up actual sound.”
The team then amplified the sound they have picked up and mixed it with other data, in order for us to hear what a black hole sounds like! This 34-second clip is what they call the “NASA Data Sonification: Black Hole Remix”.
Its description read: “In this sonification of Perseus, the sound waves astronomers previously identified were extracted and made audible for the first time. The sound waves were extracted outward from the center.”
Upon digging a little deeper, we found out that the black hole at the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster has been associated with sound since 2003. According to NASA, “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.” With the new sonification (the translation of astronomical data into sound) they have gathered, more notes have been brought to this “black hole sound machine.”
What does a black hole sound like? Netizens who have already listened to the audio clip described it as both “eerie” and “ethereally beautiful”. Listen to the sound of the Perseus galaxy cluster’s black hole in the audio clip 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
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