This is what a black hole sounds like: NASA releases audio recorded by its Chandra X-ray observatory and it sounds like a Hans Zimmer score
- Sound waves were recorded by NASA’s space telescope, the Chandra X-ray observatory, as astronomical data, then translated into human-hearable sound
- Hot gas shrouding galaxy cluster Perseus provided medium for sound waves
- Sonification was created by scaling sounds up by 57 or 58 octaves above pitch
NASA scientists have released the audio of a black hole at the centre of Perseus galaxy cluster more than 200 million lightyears away from earth.
The sound waves in the were recorded by NASA’s space telescope, the Chandra X-ray observatory, in the form of astronomical data, then translated into sound that humans can hear.
Although there is a ‘popular misconception’ that there is ‘no sound in space’ because there is no medium for sound waves to travel, the newly-released audio sounds a lot like a Hans Zimmer score.
The space agency astronomers realised that the hot gas shrouding Perseus, an 11 million-light-year-wide bundle of galaxies, could be translated into audio.
This gas that surrounds hundreds and even thousands of galaxies provide a medium for the sound waves to travel through.
The sonification was created by resynthesising the soundwaves to human hearing range, by ‘scaling them upward by 57 or 58 octaves’ above their real pitch.
Composer Hans Zimmer, who has written the soundtracks to Oscar-winning science fiction film Interstellar, has created music eerily similar to that of NASA’s latest sound bite.
NASA has released the audio of a black hole at the centre of Perseus galaxy cluster more than 200 million lightyears away from earth, recorded by the Chandra X-ray observatory (pictured)
In previous efforts of astronomical data sonification from the Chandra X-ray observatory, different musical instruments like violins recreated the noises.
NASA said of the scaling-up soundwaves process: ‘Another way to put this is that they are being heard 144 quadrillion and 288 quadrillion times higher than their original frequency.’
The sound was released to celebrate NASA’s Black Hole Week this year, and included as part of NASA’s Universe of Learning programme.