New Sonification Of Two Well-Known Black Holes Have Been Released By NASA

NASA has published new sonification – the translation of astronomical data into sound – of well-known black holes, including one at the heart of the Perseus galaxy cluster and another at the center of Galaxy M87, which is around 60 million light years from Earth, in honor of Black Hole Week.

The new sonification for Perseus, according to NASA, revisits the real sound waves discovered in data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The sound waves previously identified by astronomers were isolated and made audible for the first time in this new sonification. The sound waves were extracted in radial directions, meaning they were extracted from the center outwards. The signals were then resynthesized into human hearing ranges by scaling them up 57 and 58 octaves above their true pitch, resulting in frequencies that are 144 and 288 quadrillion times higher than their original frequency.

Messier 87, or M87, is the location of a black hole that gained fame after an image from the Event Horizon Telescope was released in 2019. (EHT). Data from other telescopes that viewed M87 on considerably larger scales around the same time as EHT is used in the new sonification.

According to NASA, the new sonification for M87 scans from left to right over the three-tiered image, with each wavelength assigned to a separate spectrum of auditory tones. The three-tiered view, from top to bottom, includes X-rays from Chandra, optical light from Hubble, and radio waves from Chile’s Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA).

The lowest tones are radio waves, the midrange tones are optical data, and the highest tones are X-rays detected by Chandra. The brightest section of the image corresponds to the loudest part of the sonification, which is where scientists discovered the EHT-imaged 6.5-billion solar mass black hole.

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Black HoleNASASonification Of Two Well-Known Black Holes