July 5, 2022

519 Magazine

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You’ve Seen The New Image Of The Milky Way’s Black Hole – Now Hear It!

This is the sonication – translation into sound – for the latest image from event horizon telescope (EHT) from Supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way The arc is called A* (Sgr A*). Using a radar-like scan, the sonication process begins at the 12 o’clock position and sweeps clockwise. The changes in magnitude represent the differences in brightness observed by the EHT around the Sgr A* event horizon. Which material is closer to Black hole So moving faster corresponds to the higher frequencies of the sound. This sonication was processed in a special way to allow the listener to hear the data in 3D stereo sound, as the sounds seemed to start straight ahead and then move clockwise to one ear and then the other while scanning was in progress.

About the sound:

  • This is a radar-like survey, starting at 12 o’clock and moving clockwise.
  • The brightness controls the volume and the radial position controls the frequencies present.
  • Emissions from matter closer to the black hole (which is spinning faster) are mapped to higher frequencies.
  • The sound is presented in binaural sound. When listening on headphones, the sound will appear to start right in front of you and then move clockwise all the way around your head.
  • Listen for the three bright areas at approximately 1, 5 and 9 o’clock, as well as very low tones indicating a faint light from outside the main ring.

Certification credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Arcand, SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida);

Image Credit: Radio: EHT Collaboration; X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO); Infrared (NASA/HST/STScI)