At long last you can finally listen to the ghostly horror sounds of a black hole devouring a massive star

May 6th

I don't really have any strong desires to get all that close to a black hole, but thanks to modern science, at the very least the sound of one noisily consuming a star can now haunt my dreams:

Millions of elusive black holes hide in plain sight across the Milky Way galaxy, only giving away their presence occasionally through bursts of X-ray light when they feed on stars.

Astronomers have been able to pin down the locations of eight rare pairings of black holes and the stars orbiting them, thanks to the X-ray echoes they release. Previously, there were only two known pairs emitting X-ray echoes in our galaxy.

Black hole binaries occur when these celestial phenomena are orbited by a star, which they sometimes use to siphon gas and dust as a snack.

The echoes have been converted into sound waves that just may keep you awake at night.

Oh yeah they "may keep you awake at night." I think it's a guarantee. Have a listen:

[Have we warned you this is nightmare fuel??]

Yeah imagine being in deep space and getting a blast of that over your speakers. Instant breakdown.

Just to be clear, getting this data into listen-able sound waves took some doing:

The black hole echoes aren't actual sounds we can hear without some help, so Kara collaborated with Kyle Keane, lecturer in MIT's department of materials science and engineering, and Ian Condry, professor in MIT's department of anthropology, to turn them into sound waves.

The team tracked changes in the X-ray echoes, determined time lags during transition stages and traced commonalities in the evolution of each black hole outburst.

That's a win for science: Learning something new while scaring the crap out of us common folk!


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