Who says there's no sound in space?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by BrianW, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Although it's not polyphonic, this black hole has been singing for billions of years.

    Singing Black Hole

    Longitudinal pressure waves in interstellar gas is nothing new, but this is the first I've heard of a sustained pressure oscillation in deep space that could be regarded as sound. Indeed, what else could it be?

    This black hole is capable of unimaginable bass. I figure if we're really lucky, we'll see Singularity Subwoofers before the end of the millennium

    And just for you punsters out there, the note it sings is B-Flat. So sharpen your wits, and go to town. (Don't forget to mention how the astronomers had to C-Sharp to find this thing.)
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Can somebody explain this:

    "The Intensity of the sound is comparable to human speech..."

    "When scientists trained the Chandra observatory on the center of Perseus last year, they saw concentric ripples in the cosmic gas that fills the space between the galaxies in the cluster."

    Intensity dissipates as the wave propagates, right? At what distance are they measuring the intensity? Certainly the oscillations don't make it to earth, do they?
     
  3. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Intensity dissipates as the wave propagates, right? At what distance are they measuring the intensity?

    That's a good question, and not one the article addresses. For now, I'm assuming they just picked a spot and held up an SPL meter.

    Certainly the oscillations don't make it to earth, do they?

    The article did mention intergalactic compression waves, so in theory, I suppose some of this sound energy could be (or could eventually be) entering out solar system, though I'm of the opinion that detecting it would be utterly impossible. As for this sound energy striking the Earth itself, I'm guessing that the overpowering force (noise) of our own sun's solar wind would completely drown out this sound in any case.
     
  4. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    I posted a link to another article about this in another thread. Jack will probably want to consolidate them if we keep the discussion going. The pressure wave would dissipate at the edge of the nebula. None of the energy would reach through interstellar space. It was detected by noting small fluctuations in X-ray emmissions that correspond to variations in heat caused by compression at the stated frequency. The intensity is likey an aggregate, since they can't pinpoint an individual portion of the nebula to measure. In saying the intensity is comparable to human speech, they mean that it's producing the same pressure on the gas as your speech does on the air: about 10 dB I think? sounds like my Linkwitz transform calculations were a bit off!

    Andy
     

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