Right now, there is a piece of NASA equipment called the
Craig Hogan, a researcher on the LISA project, told
In this instance, astrophysics is not a visual discipline, but an aural one. We cannot see black holes—even ones the size of a million solar masses—but we can “listen” to the sound-like vibrations in space-time that occur when these stellar and galactic events occur.
Black Hole 1 A 10 solar mass black hole with an initially circular orbit slowly spirals into a million solar mass black hole
Black Hole 2 A 10 solar mass black hole with a highly eccentric orbit rapidly spirals into a million solar mass black hole.
Here on Earth, similar natural radio waves can be heard in the form of sferics, a group of radio atmospheric effects that occur as the result of lightning. Labeled whistlers, hooks, and tweaks, the rising and falling bird-like calls are the result of the electromagnetic energy created by lightning shooting up and down the planet at unfathomable speed, to be picked up by a special receiver. The unique sound pattern created by the electromagnetic field of Earth has also influenced many musicians and composers, especially Alvin Lucier, whose 1981 sound installation,
ManitobaRecorded on August 23, 1996 in Manitoba, Canada—listen for the initial static lightning burst and then a series of whistlers shooting around the planet.
Those who study child development have pretty much all agreed that infants in the first six or seven months of life are able to discern a wider range of vowel and consonant contrasts, which the ear later becomes incapable of picking up. When the word “split” is pronounced to an infant with a mute spot where the “p” should be (s-lit), they hear just s-lit. Adults have learned to tune out the mute spot, and their brains insert the “p” if the gap is long enough. Periods of silence within language, for the adult listener, cannot be comprehended and so we instinctively just fill in the gap. Why do we smooth over the interruption?