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Music of the spheres
July 2, 2008 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Earth is not a quiet planet. It transmits a rather hideous sound [flash] into space that is 10,000 times greater in strength than any man-made radio transmission. The Earth also quietly hums with seismic Love Waves (hear them), while the Magnetosphere is alive will all sorts of sounds (check out the creepy-sounding Chorus Emissions). Also, stars sing out in middle C before they explode as supernovae, and the Perseus Cluster black hole has droned a B-flat for the past 2.5 billion years.
posted by blahblahblah (36 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previous thread on black holes.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:02 AM on July 2, 2008


Uranus is all like, "hommina hommina hommina ..."
posted by Mister_A at 8:10 AM on July 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Now before I click on that Perseus Cluster link, is the recording 2.5 billion years long? Because I only have a billion and a half max before my next meeting and I can't be late.
posted by jlowen at 8:23 AM on July 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am way more into B-flat than boring old Middle C.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 8:26 AM on July 2, 2008


This. Is. Cool.
posted by notsnot at 8:40 AM on July 2, 2008


I just emailed the professor who wrote a paper about the AKR, requesting a long sound clip. I'm gonna make a song with it.
posted by Mach5 at 8:41 AM on July 2, 2008


"200 to 400 hertz, in the audible range around middle C"

That'd be a full octave, starting and ending roughly halfway between G and G#.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:42 AM on July 2, 2008


There is another AKR clip in the Magnetosphere sounds link.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:43 AM on July 2, 2008


The "rather hideous sound" link starts off with a Dark Knight trailer. Ha ha
posted by sleevener at 8:43 AM on July 2, 2008


...the Perseus Cluster black hole has droned a B-flat for the past 2.5 billion years.

That's even longer than the last SunnO))) album!
posted by The Straightener at 8:48 AM on July 2, 2008


That's even longer than the last SunnO))) album!

Yeah, but without Steve O'Malley and Greg Anderson, who cares? ;)
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:54 AM on July 2, 2008


I think the Earth sound is so hideous is perhaps because our Earth is in alot of pain.
posted by Senator at 8:54 AM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can hear the sounds without the narrator on this European Space Agency page.

I don't think the sound is so hideous. There are some quite musical things in there.
posted by zennie at 8:57 AM on July 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the Earth sound is so hideous is perhaps because our Earth is in alot of pain.

You're being sarcastic, right? It's a hunk of rock floating about in space. I don't think our planet has performing inter-stellar emo tunes.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:58 AM on July 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jesus fuck! The earth emits Batman commercials out into space?
posted by joe defroster at 9:20 AM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


There is no sound in space; this is all very silly.

In order to hear this 'sound', you have to convert electromagnetic radiation into a series of compressions and rarefactions in air. The fact that the frequency of the radiation falls into the audible range is coincidental.

Pretty much any batch of data can be manipulated to produce a 'sound'. Maybe you could take some road death statistics and produce something akin to a jolly Irish jig; in other words, any emotional response we have to that sound is just our own creativity at play and gives no insight whatsoever into the original phenomenon.

Cool sounds though.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 9:35 AM on July 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


The earth emits Batman commercials out into space?

Jaguar commercials too.
posted by namespan at 9:38 AM on July 2, 2008


You know what else about B-flat ...? (Includes reference to the Perseus cluster.)
posted by NemesisVex at 9:42 AM on July 2, 2008


Maybe you could take some road death statistics and produce something akin to a jolly Irish jig;

Did someone say Mefi Music Challenge?
posted by odinsdream at 9:48 AM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


This post is useless without Holst.
I'm using Opera, if it helps.
Advise, please.
posted by Dizzy at 10:25 AM on July 2, 2008


This explains the aliens then.

They're trying to get us to shut up.
posted by bwg at 10:35 AM on July 2, 2008


Try also the "Symphonies of the Planets" series from, now defunct, Laserlight Digital. It's made (somehow or other_ from signals received by the Voyager probes.

I managed to find a couple of these, and though the sound quality is on the hissy side sometimes, this is quite possibly some of the most sublime and trance-inducing ambient music you're likely to hear.
posted by eric1halfb at 10:41 AM on July 2, 2008


The moon, on the other hand, makes a sound best described as "Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang ba ba ding a dong ding"...
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:43 AM on July 2, 2008


World Music indeed.
posted by slimepuppy at 10:59 AM on July 2, 2008


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.

57 octaves lower, with each octave halving the frequency, would result in an oscillation every 19 million years.
It's a bit of a stretch to call that a B-flat.
posted by rocket88 at 11:22 AM on July 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Jesus fuck! The earth emits Batman commercials out into space?"

Yes, and for billions upon billions of years this has made absolutely no sense. And from very soon now until the end of the world itself, it will be pointless and irrelevant.

But right here, and right now, it all miraculously falls into place. We are living in the most specialest moment in the history of the universe.
posted by Naberius at 11:36 AM on July 2, 2008


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.

Aparently the guys at NASA haven't heard the jackass in the Hummer that drives back and forth in front of my house every night just after I get my daughter to bed.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:50 AM on July 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


You're being sarcastic, right? It's a hunk of rock floating about in space. I don't think our planet has performing inter-stellar emo tunes.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:58 AM on July 2 [1 favorite +] [!]

You know, we could be in a lot of trouble if Earth starts cutting itself.
posted by etaoin at 12:04 PM on July 2, 2008


Hey, Nick Verstayne! C sharp or B flat!

/me ducks quickly.
posted by aldus_manutius at 1:46 PM on July 2, 2008


I must concur with BeaAuthur'sDeath. In space, no one can hear Earth croon.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:39 PM on July 2, 2008


You know, we could be in a lot of trouble if Earth starts cutting itself.

It can start with my lawn.

Off-topic: how many emo kids does it take to screw in a light-bulb?

None; they prefer to cry in the dark. *BA-ZIIING!*
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:47 PM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a bit of a stretch to call that a B-flat.

Be more of a squish than a stretch, wouldn't it?
That there wavelength is pretty damn long.
posted by flaterik at 3:14 PM on July 2, 2008


There is no sound in space; this is all very silly.

No foo! There isn't any sound as we could here it, even if our ears were made of space-resistant material, but it does happen. Unless you consider sound to be only the spectrum of matter waves that the human ear can hear, but then you have to consider other animals, too.

That earth-sound thing is really cool. I wonder if our CFC emissions have altered the sound? And if could listen to the sound of an earth-like extra-solar planet over a long period, could we notice the change and deduce that there was an industrious civilization?
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:34 PM on July 2, 2008


Needs more cowbell.
posted by darkstar at 6:43 PM on July 2, 2008


i flagged 2 coments here as fantastic...

i think i shoulda flaged 'em all as "noise".
posted by lapolla at 9:37 PM on July 2, 2008


Cowbells aside, one more to add to this collection of cosmic sounds: the primal scream of the first million years of the universe, here.
posted by darkstar at 10:10 PM on July 2, 2008


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