Inspenet, December 24, 2023.
The project of converting images and data of the universe into sounds and music has been one of NASA’s most fascinating projects over the years. Through the Chandra X-ray Center ‘s sonifications website, you can experience what the Perseus cluster or the planetary nebula in the Vela constellation sounds like.
However, NASA has decided to take an additional step by devising a new project that goes beyond the mere sonification of some regions of space. In this case, symphonies are being created from these sonifications to highlight the beauty of both the universe and the music that accompanies it. The collaboration with the composer Sophie Kastner has been essential to carry out this project.
The universe turned into music: NASA makes it possible
Under the name Where Parallel Lines Converge , taken from a poem by Sarah Howe, a sound composition has been generated from one of the central regions of our galaxy, the Milky Way, which encompasses the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*. Using the data provided by the Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer telescopes, it has been possible to convert the cosmos into a score that can be played by musicians.
In short, this project manages to transform data into sound , as indicated on the Chandra X-ray Center website, by “harmonizing different image parameters with musical parameters.” Sophie Kastner maintains that: “I focused on small sections of the image, creating small vignettes that corresponded with the occurrences and approaching the piece as if I were writing the soundtrack that accompanies the image. Because the image of the Galactic Center has so much information and material, I wanted to focus the listener’s attention on small events within a large data set.”.
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