deep like space

From a friend: “There is a cluster of galaxies called the Perseus Cluster, which is 250 million miles away from Earth. Scientists found that all of the sound waves it is emitting form a single note…B flat. ”

Apparently, this is the deepest note ever generated in the cosmos (?!).

In other geekly weekend highlights: Quantum Hoops is the history-of-science-and-underdog-sports-team-documentary for which we’ve all been waiting.  I’m assuming here that you’ll grant that a 21 year losing streak qualifies the Cal Tech basketball team as underdogs (that’s over 240 consecutive conference losses). 

Among the many great lines in the film, here’s the current coach noting with clear pride that the Beavers (Nature’s Engineers!) reduced the point spread for their losses from 60 points every game (in 2003) to only 10 points (in 2006):

We’re only losing by ten points this season. Winning has gone from impossible to improbable!

3 thoughts on “deep like space”

  1. From a friend: ”There is a cluster of galaxies called the Perseus Cluster, which is 250 million miles away from Earth. Scientists found that all of the sound waves it is emitting form a single note…B flat. “

    Apparently, this is the deepest note ever generated in the cosmos (?!).

    Probably worth taking a look at some info on the Perseus Cluster. Sound waves aren’t actually reaching us from that location (there being a lack of a medium for them to propogate through) but, rather, we are observing shockwaves in plasma that would produce that note if we were able to hear it. I think. In any case, b flat doesn’t even begin to do it justice since the sound is actually too low for the human ear to detect.

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  2. drek, you*are*interesting. thanks for the wikipedia link. my favorite line from the desciption there:

    No human will actually hear the note, because it is 57 octaves below the keys in the middle of a piano.

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  3. Very interesting post!
    Perhaps Kepler’s “music of the spheres” does exist in more than just metaphor.

    And if this one celestial body is in fact “humming” (i.e., emitting waves at a particular frequency), doesn’t that imply that *all* celestial bodies are similarly humming?

    So perhaps the universe is emitting one, gigantic stacked harmony of notes!

    Would it be beautiful? Cacophonous? Painful? Wonderful? John Cage? J.S. Bach? Napalm Death? White noise?

    What would our own solar system, isolated from the rest, sound like?

    And is there an appreciable aesthetic relationship between the physical properties of a celestial body and the sounds it creates, such that one could study that relationship in order to actually COMPOSE music using a uniquely selected arrangement of celestial bodies?

    Can we create a new harmony (so to say) between astronomy and music composition?

    Arrangements that are simultaneously works of music and new maps of the cosmos?

    Perhaps a new form of astral cartography based on sound?

    okay, I’m fresh out of question marks. gotta run.

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