This week, NASA published on social media an audio clip that allows one to “hear” a black hole for themselves. It should not come as a surprise that the sound is disturbing.
The NASA Exoplanets team, which focuses on planets and other information outside our solar system, tweeted the 34-second clip on Sunday and referred to the idea that there is no sound in space as a “misconception.”
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!NASA
You wouldn’t be able to hear what a black hole sounds like in real life.
NASA first announced the “sonification” earlier this year, explaining that researchers have “connected” the Perseus galaxy cluster’s black hole with sound since 2003.
“This is because astronomers discovered that the black hole’s pressure waves generated ripples in the cluster’s heated gas, which could be translated into a note—one that humans cannot hear about 57 octaves below middle C,” NASA confirmed in a news statement.
NASA noted that the transmissions “are being heard 144 quadrillion and 288 quadrillion times higher than their initial frequency.” That means the sound isn’t exactly what you’d hear if you were close to a black hole—or if humans were capable of hearing such sounds.
Perseus galaxy cluster is approximately 240 million light-years away from Earth.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the audio sample NASA published this week has over 14 million views, with most social media users saying the audio is quite creepy.
Others thought the solar sound was relatable or appropriate for Halloween.