Not content with satisfying minds around the world with incredible images of our universe, NASA took data from telescopes observing the Milky Way’s galaxy and created a celestial symphony.
NASA regularly takes digital data from remote telescopes and converts them into comfortable images. These images are combinations of different wavelengths of light and radiation that are invisible to the human eye.
In an effort to outdo themselves, the NASA Boffins took things to the next level and ‘sonified’ the stars, creating short cosmic concerts using the same digital telescope data.
Sonification is the process of translating a binary code, or a set of zeros and zeros, into sound rather than imagery.
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For contextualization of information, NASA created these audiovisual delights, in which the pitch and volume are controlled using the position and intensity of the stars seen in the images at the Galactic Center.
Individual notes are given to the stars and individual bright lights, while clouds of gas and dust produce atmospheric drone sounds that expand from left to right throughout the images.
Naturally, this part ends when a black hole with a mass of four million solar masses reaches Sagittarius A *. The short audio piece covers an area of our galaxy about 400 light-years away.
The galactic gala, 26,000 light-years from Earth, includes performances from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Lunar X-Ray Observatory.
Each telescope plays its own ‘device’, which is associated with the data it collects.
Hubble contains areas of the galaxy where stars are born, as well as delicate Piccadilly strings.
Spitzer ‘plays’ the infrared spectrum, avoiding shiny dust particles for all to hear.
Last but not least, the moon ‘sings’ enticing X-rays from the ultra-heated gas resulting from supernova explosions.
The project produced sonified versions of the wreckage of the supernova explosion, as well as Cassiopeia A and the world-famous film The Pillars of Creation.
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