“The misconception that there is never sound in space is due to the fact that most of the universe is empty and that there are no means of propagating sound waves. But a cluster of galaxies is made up of so much gas that we picked up sound. We amplified it and mixed it with other data to reproduce the sound of a black hole.” In the last days of the channel NASA Exoplanets NASA shared the “noise” emitted by the black hole on their social profiles, accompanying the video with such a caption.
In fact, the sound defined by the American space agency “Black Hole Remix” was first released in May last year. Relaunched a few days ago, the post has racked up 14.8 million views, splitting users into those who called it “creepy” and those who are “stunningly gorgeous.”
The sound effect we hear here is the result of a discovery made in 2003, when, after more than 53 hours of observation, NASA researchers realized that pressure waves emitted by the supermassive black hole located at the center of the Perseus (or Abell 426) galaxy cluster were creating a special ripples in the gas so that they could be converted into sounds using a technique called “sonification” (or converting astronomical data into sound audible to humans).
However, the waves in question produced the lowest notes ever found in the universe, which cannot be heard by the human ear. For this reason, NASA researchers have increased the sound of the black hole by tens and tens of octaves, producing this disturbing and surprising noise.
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