NASA releases audio recording of a black hole – and it sounds like a Hans Zimmer score | Science & Tech News
Scientists have released the eerie, Hans Zimmer-like audio captured from a black hole at the centre of the Perseus galaxy cluster.
The actual sound waves were discovered in data recorded by NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory and have been translated from astronomical data into human-hearable sound.
Astronomers first discovered that ripples in the hot gas surrounding the Perseus black hole could be translated into sound.
NASA said it was a “popular misconception that there is no sound in space” based on the fact that, as most of space is a vacuum, there is no medium for sound waves to propagate through.
Galaxy clusters have “copious amounts of gas that envelop the hundreds or even thousands of galaxies… providing a medium for the sound waves to travel”, the agency explained.
The so-called sonification differed from previous efforts which simply translated astronomical data into an auditory form – featuring different instruments – but using the actual soundwaves observed.
NASA explained that the soundwaves were resynthesised into human hearing range by “scaling them upward by 57 and 58 octaves above their true pitch” but were not replayed using violins or other instruments.
The resultant audio sounds spookily like a Hans Zimmer score, the composer who has written the soundtracks to science-fiction hits including Blade Runner 2049 and Interstellar.