Scientists have recorded the last gasps of a star being swallowed by a black hole, and are likening its “quasiperiodic oscillations” to a human scream.
“You can think of it as hearing the star scream as it gets devoured,” astronomer Jon Miller told University of Michigan’s press service.
However, the old Alien tagline still applies: in space, no one can hear you scream. Without any medium to move through, sound waves can’t travel through the vacuum of space — so by “scream,” Miller actually means that the star emits an oscillating signal at a frequency that, if converted into something audible, would sound like an ultra-low D-sharp.
As the star is being ripped apart by the black hole, its material “wobbles” just before being devoured. That wobble, scientists think, is the source of the signal detected by their telescopes.
A team at…
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