Listen to the Sound of Two Black Holes Merging

December 30, 2015 | Johannes Van Zijl

Photo credit: O'Reilly/YouTube

Curious what it sounds like when two black holes merge?

Black holes are mysterious, exotic objects; they are the remnants of once giant stars that collapsed on themselves due to gravity forming giant cosmic drains in the center of galaxies.  You might be familiar with the idea that not even light can escape the enormous gravitational tug of black holes — hence the reason we are not able to physically observe these gigantic monsters which lie in the center of most galaxies.

Although we aren’t able to observe black holes directly, many different techniques allow us to see the effects black holes indirectly, which is the reason we know they exist.

One technique allows astronomers to observe gravitational ripples caused by black holes in space-time. Gravitational ripples can be sensitively picked up and converted into different frequencies of sound. By using this technique, astronomers were lucky enough capture the gravitational ripples caused at the point where two black holes merged to form one.  Here is what it sounds like!

You might also like: In a First, Scientists Witness Black Hole Consuming a Star

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