NASA released a new sonification of the black hole located in the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster and that since 2003 has been associated with sound.
Sonification, which means translation of astronomical data into sound, It was released on May 4, on the occasion of NASA’s black hole week.
Astronomers discovered that the pressure waves emitted by this black hole cause ripples in the hot gas of the cluster that could translate into a note, one that humans cannot hear, as they are 57 octaves below middle C.
The new sonification, which adds more notes, is different from the previous ones, because retrieve real sound waves discovered in data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
In a statement, the US agency explained that the popular misconception that there is no sound in space stems from the fact that most of space is essentially a vacuum, providing no means for sound waves to enter. spread. However, a galaxy cluster has large amounts of gas that engulf the hundreds or even thousands of galaxies within it, providing a medium for sound waves to travel.
In the new sonification of Perseus, sound waves previously identified by astronomers were extracted and heard for the first time. The sound waves were drawn in radial directions, that is, away from the center. The signals were then re-synthesized to the range of human hearing by boosting them 57 and 58 octaves above their actual pitch.
Another way of expressing this is that it is heard 144 quadrillion and 288 quadrillion times more than its original frequency. Scanning, similar to that of a radar around the image, allows you to listen to the waves emitted in different directions. In the visual image of these data, both blue and purple show X-ray data captured by Chandra.
In addition to the hole in the Perseus galaxy cluster, a new sonification of another famous black hole was released. Studied by scientists for decades, the black hole in the elliptical galaxy Messier 87, or M87, gained celebrity status in science after the first launch of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project in 2019.
This new sonification does not present the EHT data, but rather uses data from other telescopes that observed M87 on much larger scales at about the same time. The visual format image contains three panels that are, from top to bottom, X-rays from Chandra, optical light from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, and radio waves from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile.
The brighter region on the left of the image is where the black hole is located, and the structure on the upper right is a jet produced by the black hole. The jet is produced by material falling onto the black hole.
Sonification scans the three-level image from left to right, with each wavelength assigned to a different range of audible tones. Radio waves are assigned to lower tones, optical data to midtones, and X-rays detected by Chandra to higher tones.
The brightest part of the image corresponds to the noisiest part of the sonification, qthis is where astronomers find the black hole of 6,500 million solar masses that the EHT captured.
(With information from NASA and Aristegui News)