‘Sounds from around the Milky Way’: NASA reveals what the Universe sounds like
- The project was led by the Chandra X-ray Center
- Sonification is the process that translates data into sound
- Stars and compact sources are converted to individual notes
The centre of our Milky Way galaxy might be too distant for us to visit in person, but we can still hear it, thanks to NASA. It's long been said that there's no sound in space, and that's true, to an extent. Conventional sound requires a medium to travel through, in its absence outer space as we know it is eerily silent.
Nevertheless, NASA has figured out a way to produce music from the silence of space - 'sonifying' the digital data from space into sound, and a new project brings the centre of the Milky Way to listeners for the first time.
Listen to the sound of the universe:
Sonification is the process that translates data into sound. Stars and compact sources are converted to individual notes while extended clouds of gas and dust produce an evolving hum. The crescendo happens when we reach the bright region to the lower right of the image. This is where the 4-million-solar-mass supermassive black hole at the centre of the Galaxy, known as Sagittarius A, resides.
In addition to the Milkyway, this project has also produced sonified versions of the remains of a 'dead but not quiet', supernova called Cassiopeia A and the "Pillars of Creation" located in Messier 16.
This sonification project was led by the Chandra X-ray Center as part of NASA's Universe of Learning programme.