HEAPOW: The Song of a Supermassive Black Hole (2023 Apr 03)

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HEAPOW: The Song of a Supermassive Black Hole (2023 Apr 03)

Post by bystander » Tue Apr 04, 2023 5:30 am

ImageThe Song of a Supermassive Black Hole
The Perseus cluster of galaxies, shown above in a deep X-ray image obtained by the cameras on the Chandra X-ray Observatory, is one of the most massive objects in the Universe. This cluster contains thousands of galaxies, all of which are embedded in a massive, hot intracluster medium heated by the motions of the cluster galaxies and by outpourings of energy from a supermassive black hole residing near the center of the cluster. The Chandra X-ray image shows waves of pressure produced by this black hole, which apparently occur once every 9.6 million years. This is equivalent to a sound frequency of 3.3 times 10-15 Hz, or some 57 octaves below the middle A note on a piano keyboard. In other words, this black hole has a very deep voice. This is of course well beyond the range of human hearing. But now, thanks to the fine efforts of the sonification team at the Chandra Science Center, you can listen to the X-ray emission originating from the Perseus Cluster's monster black hole. The process of sonification takes the distribution of X-ray brightness, which marks the pressure waves produced by the black hole, and converts it to sound, increasing the frequence of the sound waves by 57 octaves or so to put the frequencies within the range of human hearing. A truly mesmerizing cosmic concert!

CXC: New NASA Black Hole Sonifications with a Remix

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