Nasa releases new sonification of black hole at the center of the ...

Scientists at NASA have revealed what a black hole may sound like using sonification technology.

At the center of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster is a supermassive black hole, nearly 55 million light-years away. The black hole was first associated with sound in 2003 when astronomers discovered the pressure of the black hole caused ripples in the cluster's hot gas.

The sound was thought to be approximately 57 octaves below middle C, making it inaudible to the human ears.

However, using sonification- "the translation of astronomical data into sound", astronomers turned the pitch 57 to 58 octaves above its estimated pitch so the sound of the hole may be audible to humans.

NASA released black hole's singing in a press release on Wednesday.

Sign up for our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Data Sonification: Black Hole at the Center of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster (X-ray)

Using the sound waves first recorded by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, scientists took radial sound waves and resynthesized them to make them audible.

The new sounds of the black hole contradict the widely-circulated idea that there is no sound in space. According to the press release, this is a misconception.

"A galaxy cluster, on the other hand, 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 press release states

In addition to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster, astronomers also sonified a black hole at the center of galaxy M87, which was made famous as the first black hole ever pictured.

The sounds coming from the black hole at the center of M87 have a much higher-pitched, celestial tune.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)