Space Sounds


What's a different way to look at data?  How about... not looking?

We are all very used to processing data visually -- graphs, maps, plots, and diagrams.  But what about our other senses?  Wanda Diaz Merced is a blind astronomer and pioneer in "sonification", or processing data sets audibly rather than visually.

In addition to being accessible to the visually impaired, there are other benefits to sonification.  The human ear is naturally keen at picking out outliers and patterns in data -- just think of a musician following a rhythm or recalling a melody.

By recording radio emissions and plasma lines from various bodies within our Solar System, NASA was able to translate the electromagnetic waves into audible sound waves.  Using data recorded on board the Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Cassini, and the Galileo spacecrafts, NASA has compiled an entire album of "Space Music".

The above video is a sampling of these, with the entire 2.5-hour album available here.

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