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Published on Aug 18, 2012
Unlike regular Astronomy where we observe light, the ripples in space-time predicted from Einstein's theory of gravity to be generated by the motion of matter - known as gravitational waves - are best interpreted as a kind of sound. In fact, the frequencies of gravitational waves in the LIGO interferometer fall within our audible hearing range. The mp3 clip is a mix-up of simulated gravitational waveforms expected from the merger of binary black hole and neutron star systems. The long, deep ones are the supermassive black-hole binaries that will be detected by LISA, if it ever flies. These have been scaled up in frequency to be represented as audible sounds. The short "chirps" are the final death-throes of stellar-mass black hole binary systems (i.e. two dead stars finally merging together). Pretty soon we should actually detect some real gravitational waves, so maybe then I'll make a follow-up with the *real* sounds of the Universe. Until then, enjoy...