Representative image | Flickr
TThe ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras theorized that the planets create harmonies in their orbits—he called them. Music of the Spheres. Scientists have now found a new way to tune into the symphony of the universe.
A technique called sonification is now used to translate data into sound Assign musical notes to the points of light in the images Captured by space telescopes, we can experience the universe with our ears and eyes.
Experts say sonification can help visually impaired people gain an appreciation for the strange beauty of the universe’s distant galaxies and nebulae.
Using infrared, X-ray, and visual imagery from NASA space telescopes, a team at the Harvard-based Chandra X-ray Observatory has launched a program to turn astronomical data into sound during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visually impaired people are ‘very positive’ about the process
Their work focused on 3D modeling and printing to produce tactile versions of space imagery for blind and visually impaired people. Because sonification is completely digital, it has proven to be a great way to keep projects on track while working remotely.
The sonification process created a series of intriguing soundscapes. Scientists and musicians embed images with musical notes whose pitch can be tuned to the wavelength of light or whose volume can reflect its brightness. A digital image scan then produces sound.
In fact, Carina is a very unstable region of the universe Stars are born and destroyed regularly. Sonification follows the film’s “mountain range” on soft notes with wind instruments, but the brightest stars cause crashing cymbals and elbows.
The images used in sonification are the creation of scientific processes. The human eye can’t see X-ray or infrared data, so we’re all familiar with scientists converting it digitally into space images.
NASA tested sonifications on sighted and non-sighted groups with “very positive” results. Both blind and partially sighted people experienced higher levels of engagement, while the sighted group said they understood more about how blind people access data in general.
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