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NASA Releases Scary Black Hole Sonifications ‘With A Remix’

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(CTN News) – NASA has ended Black hole week with a sonification, which is audio created by translating astronomical data. According to the agency, this sonification is based on a galaxy cluster named Perseus, which has been associated with sound for more than two decades. It has long been believed that sound cannot travel through space since it needs a medium to do so. However, outer space is a vacuum, so sound cannot travel through it. The astronomers were able to generate this sonification due to the galaxy cluster, which contains an immense amount of gas and thousands of galaxies within it. A vast number of galaxies themselves act as a medium for sound waves.

How was the sound created?

NASA explained that it was the first time sound waves previously identified by astronomers were extracted from astronomical data. Waves originating from black holes were resynthesized into the audible range of human ears. This video shows images captured by the Chandra X-ray telescope and sounds made from waves emitted in different directions, according to the agency.

A second video above shows the black hole in Messier 87, or M87, whose first direct image was captured through the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) in 2019. While the audio does not include the EHT data, it does include other telescopes’ observations of the M87 galaxy on much wider scales at roughly the same time.

NASA’s Chandra telescope provided X-rays, Hubble’s optical light, and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile provided radio waves, which greatly influenced the observations. Scientists found a 6.5-billion solar mass black hole that EHT imaged at the brightest part of the image, NASA said in a statement. Located 55 million light-years from Earth, the supermassive black hole in the M87 galaxy has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun.

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