Nasa turns ‘light echoes’ from a black hole into sound.⁣⁣ Watch amazing video

Published on Nov 26, 2022 11:45 AM IST

Nasa posted th sonification video showing ‘light echoes’ from a black hole on Instagram.

The image, taken from the Instagram video, shows a black hole.(Instagram/@nasa)
The image, taken from the Instagram video, shows a black hole.(Instagram/@nasa)
ByTrisha Sengupta

Nasa’s sonification posts are incredible to watch and often leave people stunned. Every now and then, the space agency wows people with their sonification posts. In their recent post, they shared a post by turning ‘light echoes’ from a black hole into sound.

“This new sonification turns “light echoes” from a black hole into sound.⁣⁣ Black holes are notorious for not letting light (such as radio, visible and X-rays) escape from them. However, surrounding material can produce intense bursts of electromagnetic radiation. As they travel outward, these busts of light can bounce off clouds of gas and dust in space, like how light beams from a car's headlight will scatter off of fog,” they wrote.

⁣⁣”Located about 7,800 light-years from Earth, this system that contains a black hole with a mass between five and 10 times the Sun’s, that pulls material from a companion star in orbit around it. This material is funneled into a disk that encircles the stellar-mass black hole,” they added.

“This sonification translates X-ray data from both @NASAChandraXray and Swift into sound. To differentiate between the data from the two telescopes, Chandra data is represented by higher-frequency tones while the Swift data is lower. In addition to the X-rays, the image includes optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey that shows background stars. Each star in optical light triggers a musical note. The volume and pitch of the note are determined by the brightness of the star,” the space agency also explained.

Nasa also shared a video description, “Circular bands of red are surrounded by a starry background. Blue bands highlight the inner and lower portions of the black hole system. During the sonification, the cursor moves outward from the center of the image in a circle. As it passes through the light echoes detected in X-rays (seen as concentric rings in blue by Chandra and red by Swift in the image), there are tick-like sounds and changes in volume to denote the detection of X-rays and the variations in brightness.”

Take a look at the incredible video:

The video was shared 12 hours ago. Since being posted, the clip has accumulated close to 3.3 million views and the numbers are quickly increasing. The share has further prompted people to post various comments.

“Sounds like Nasa dropped their mic on a beach,” wrote an Instagram user. “Sounds like the waves of the ocean coming up on the sand, beautiful waves of the universe,” expressed another. “Music from our universe,” commented a third.

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