Light echoes from black hole V404 Cygni turned into sound | Listen


Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 25-11-2022 21:41 IST | Created: 25-11-2022 21:33 IST
Light echoes from black hole V404 Cygni turned into sound | Listen
Image Credit: Image Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Wisc-Madison/S. Heinz et al.; Optical/IR: Pan-STARR

NASA has released an audio of the black hole V404 Cygni, located about 7,800 light-years from Earth. The new sonification, translation of data into sound, turns the X-ray data from the agency's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory into sound.

The black hole, part of a binary system called V404 Cygni, has a mass between five and 10 times the Sun's and is actively pulling material from a companion star in orbit around it. The material is funneled into a disk that encircles the stellar-mass black hole.

Periodically, this material around the black hole generates bursts of radiation including X-rays that propagate outward into space.

Listen to the light echoes from the black hole:

Credit: X-ray: Chandra: NASA/CXC/U.Wisc-Madison/S. Heinz et al.; Swift: NASA/Swift/Univ. of Leicester/A. Beardmore; Optical: DSS; Sonification: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Arcand, SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)

In this sonification, the Chandra data is represented by higher-frequency tones while the Swift data is lower. In addition, the image includes optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey that shows background stars.

"NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory have imaged the X-ray light echoes around V404 Cygni. Because astronomers know exactly how fast light travels and have determined an accurate distance to this system, they can calculate when these eruptions occurred. This data, plus other information, helps astronomers learn more about the dust clouds, including their composition and distances," reads a post on Chandra's website.

The light echo rings are formed by dust scattering and the background stars.

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