Space agency NASA has re-enthralled millions with its mesmerizing data sonification of a supermassive black hole. Watch the video here.
NASA shares sound of black hole
The sonification was shared on Instagram by the space agency, which described it as a „one-hit wonder” that doesn’t compete with Beethoven’s musical masterpieces, but is nonetheless stunning.
Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole, is located at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. According to NASA, this „ancient sleeping giant woke up recently, about 200 years ago, to feast on gas and other cosmic material within its confines.”
Researchers combined Sagittarius A* images with visual data from the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) to create sonification and convert the visual data into an audio experience.
In terms of luminosity, Sagittarius A* stands out among the black holes at the centers of galaxies. Unlike its active brethren, our galaxy’s central black hole has not swallowed its surroundings. Regardless, the ability to turn these visuals into music provides a unique perspective on the celestial phenomenon.
This technology converts data from astronomical photographs into sounds
While telescopes have always given us breathtaking views of space, NASA’s CXC has taken it a step further by launching a sonification experiment.
This state-of-the-art technology converts data from astronomical photographs into sounds, resulting in an auditory version of data visualization. NASA’s telescopes acquire digital data (ones and zeros) before converting them into visual images.
These photographs depict different wavelengths of light and radiation in the naked eye.
The Chandra project pushes the envelope by converting the same data into sound and using pitch and volume to reveal the brightness and position of celestial objects and events.
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