The other day when perusing a copy of Scientific American I learned something that, as a musician, intrigued me. The article was about "Dark Matter" which we cannot measure in any direct manner, yet mathematically has been proven to be the "dominant material constituent" of the universe, according to the article. That alone intrigues me - something we cannot understand in any manner exists in the universe.
According to these, and other scientists, not only does dark matter exist, but there's a lot of it in the outer parts of our galaxy, and it's affecting the galaxy - the unknown substance has enough gravity that, when "tweaked" by both Magellanic clouds, (which it turns out are small galaxies on their own ) the dark matter has enough gravity energy it causes our galaxy to warp!
Calculations have shown this is not a static warp but instead is a slow fluctuation of the galaxy - actually vibrating very slowly, according to how we usually measure vibrations - these vibrations occur not in seconds, but in hundreds of millions of years! The article goes on to point out our galaxy, the Milky Way is actually vibrating, much like a gong! These vibrations could produce tones - if there was air in which they could propagate. Here's the interesting fact for musicians - the lowest tone our galaxy would be producing is 64 octaves below middle C on a piano!
By comparison, there are only three octaves below middle C on a piano ( plus four more pitches .)
So a piano would need 61 more octaves to play a tone as low as our galaxy would be producing! Of course, as I remember, we humans are capable of hearing tones only as low as 16 vibrations per second, not minutes or hours! But vibrations of hundreds of million years! Imagine! The size of a piano that would encompass 61 more octaves would be staggering. But if we could hear those tones! Talk about celestial music!
All because of something we cannot measure - except indirectly, by it's effect on the Universe!