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Eerie NASA audio clip lets you hear the sound a black hole makes

Published Aug 23rd, 2022 3:01PM EDT
black hole
Image: Vadimsadovski/Adobe

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Black holes are terrifying stellar objects. Not only do they feed off the energy of stars, but there is just so much we don’t know about them. In fact, we’ve only recently even captured our first image of a black hole. Now, though, scientists at NASA have allowed us to check off yet another question about these celestial objects: What does a black hole sound like?

The idea of a celestial object that quite literally bends time-space around it has always been terrifying. As if to add to that terrifying nature, though, NASA had to go and record sound waves from a black hole. The result is a great look at what black holes sound like, and it’s about as ominous as you’d expect.

But sound can’t travel in space, right?

Well, that’s true to a degree, as most of space is a vacuum. However, as NASA notes in its tweet revealing the audio clip, galaxy clusters are filled with tons of gas and stellar material. As a result, sound waves can travel through the gases. These sound waves allow us to hear what a black hole sounds like.

Milky Way black hole compared to M87*
These panels show the first two images of black holes ever taken. Image source: EHT Collaboration

The recording, which showcases what a black hole sounds like, was created using the sound waves that NASA recorded and other data gathered by the team. The black hole you hear in the clip above is from Perseus, a galaxy cluster that NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory observed earlier this year.

NASA previously released audio from the black hole at the center of our galaxy back in May. Shortly before that, it also released the first photo of our black hole. Because black holes bend light around them, taking photos has always been difficult. However, new techniques have made it possible to see and hear what black holes sound and look like.

It is unclear exactly what other noises we might hear in this recording. But at least we now have an idea of just how ominous black holes sound. And to be honest, it isn’t a sound I’m racing to hear again anytime soon.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.