The unsettling “sounds” of a black hole can finally be heard thanks to new NASA technology, and listeners are calling the result hypnotic and downright “terrifying.”
“The popular misconception that there is no sound in space originates with the fact that most of space is essentially a vacuum, providing no medium for sound waves to propagate through,” NASA reported.
“A galaxy cluster, on the other hand, has copious amounts of gas that envelop the hundreds or even thousands of galaxies within it, providing a medium for the sound waves to travel.”
Those “ripples” have been made audible with a sound machine — a process called “sonification” — after NASA says it overcame the challenge of raising the “astronomical data” to a level humans can hear.
NASA dodged describing the results from the black hole — which has such a strong gravitational pull that nothing, including light, can escape its invisible grasp — but the sound could be likened to ghostly howls … or the collective moan of a billion lifeforms.
There are more than 5,000 reactions and comments on NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Facebook page, some using terms like “eerily beautiful” and “menacing,” while another warned to “stay the hell away from this place.”
“It’s almost like all the sounds (that) ever exist playing at the same time,” Marcos Murudumbay posted on Facebook.
“This is some cosmic horror levels of sound,” Kiel Barbosa Turgo said.
“The void itself has a voice and we have just heard it,” a YouTube commenter wrote.
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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.