The creative project is being carried out by scientists at NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
“Telescopes give us a chance to see what the Galactic Center looks like in different types of light,” NASA writes. “By translating the inherently digital data (in the form of ones and zeroes) captured by telescopes in space into images, astronomers create visual representations that would otherwise be invisible to us.
“But what about experiencing these data with other senses like hearing?”
Sonification is the process of translating data into sound. Starting on the left side of images and moving toward the right, NASA’s sonification system reads in the vertical rows of pixels and creates sounds that represent the position and brightness of things seen.
“The light of objects located towards the top of the image are heard as higher pitches while the intensity of the light controls the volume,” NASA says regarding the Milky Way photo and music in the 1-minute video above. “Stars and compact sources are converted to individual notes while extended clouds of gas and dust produce an evolving drone.
“The crescendo happens when we reach the bright region to the lower right of the image. This is where the 4-million-solar-mass supermassive black hole at the center of the Galaxy, known as Sagittarius A* (A-star), resides, and where the clouds of gas and dust are the brightest.”
Here are the sounds created from other photos:
Stars and compact sources are converted to individual notes while extended clouds of gas and dust produce an evolving drone. The crescendo happens when we reach the bright region to the lower right- the 4-million-solar-mass supermassive black hole. @chandraxray X-ray solo: pic.twitter.com/4b8ORydsAK
— Kimberly Kowal Arcand (@kimberlykowal) September 22, 2020
Author: Michael Zhang