Data from NASA telescopes turned into music: what the galaxy sounds like

Data from NASA telescopes turned into music: what the galaxy sounds like

The composer wrote a symphony based on data from the Milky Way captured by NASA telescopes.

It turned out something similar to the soundtrack to the film, writes Space.

The piece of music “Where Parallel Lines Converge”, written by composer Sophie Katzner, is based on data from the Galactic Center.

The information was provided by NASA’s Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer telescopes. They conduct observations in different wavelengths of light – X-ray, infrared and optical. That’s a lot of information, such as bright starbursts, dense plumes of dust, and glowing stellar cores.

Symphony of the Milky Way

Therefore, the composer singled out three key elements:

  • a binary star system detected in X-rays;
  • a group of arcuate threads;
  • the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A, which lurks in the very heart of our Milky Way.

Sound waves can be thought of as vibrations propagating through atoms and molecules floating in air. But in space there is only a vacuum, which does not transmit sound vibrations.

So the symphony is a sonic interpretation of the data, just as an image from the James Webb telescope is an optical interpretation of infrared signals.

“I approached the form from a different perspective than the original voices: instead of scanning the image horizontally and treating the X-axis as time, I instead focused on small areas of the image, creating short vignettes corresponding to these instances, approaching the fragment, as if I were writing music for a film to accompany the image”– noted composer Katzner.

The composition is divided into three parts that “play” from left to right.

“The light of objects located at the top of the image is heard as higher pitches, while the intensity of the light controls the volume. Stars and compact sources become individual notes, while large clouds of gas and dust create an evolving drone“, explains the dubbing team.

Previously, scientists tried to simply amplify the waves that they received from the telescope. For example, last year, scientists detected a sufficient amount of gas in the black hole in the Perseus cluster, in which it is possible to “catch” sound.

But when the resulting ripples were translated into a real musical note, it turned out to be too low to be perceived by the human ear.

Read also: A powerful explosion occurred on the Sun – a “canyon of fire” was formed. VIDEO

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