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December 19, 2011

The lowest note in the known universe

In space, no one can hear sound waves 57 octaves below middle-C, in this case emitting from a black hole in the Perseus cluster.

Earlier observations had revealed the prodigious amounts of light and heat created by black holes. "Now we have detected their sound, too," says Andrew Fabian of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England, and the leader of the study.

In musical terms, the pitch of the sound generated by the black hole translates into the note of B flat. But, a human would have no chance of hearing this cosmic performance because the note is 57 octaves lower than middle-C. For comparison, a typical piano contains only about seven octaves. At a frequency over a million billion times deeper than the limits of human hearing, this is the deepest note ever detected from an object in the Universe.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at December 19, 2011 08:57 AM