The Sounds of Stars 1

May 3, 2021

Can the sounds of stars be heard by human ears? The answer is yes. Astronomical data collected by NASA’s telescopes in space are being converted into astounding sounds and amazing music, allowing us to be able to hear information from cosmic objects as well as see it.

Can the sounds of stars be heard by human ears? The answer is yes. Data sonification from NASA missions provides a new method to enjoy an arrangement of cosmic objects. It translates information collected by various missions – such as the Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope – into sounds. 

Data sonification allows users to be able to hear information from cosmic objects as well as see it. The latest installment from NASA data sonification series features three amazing diverse cosmic scenes: the Chandra Deep Field, the Cat’s Eye Planetary Nebula, and the Whirlpool Galaxy.

In each data sonification, astronomical data collected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes are converted into sounds. Data sonification maps the data from these space-based telescopes into a form that users can hear instead of only see, embodying the data in a new form without changing the original content.

These following sonifications were led by the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC). The collaboration was driven by visualization scientist Dr. Kimberly Arcand (CXC), astrophysicist Dr. Matt Russo and musician Andrew Santaguida (both of the SYSTEM Sound project).

Deep Field
(Chandra Deep Field South)

Credits: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Arcand, SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)

Cat’s Eye Nebula
(NGC 6543)

Credits: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Arcand, SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)

Whirlpool Galaxy
(Messier 51 or M51)

Credits: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Arcand, SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)

Full Article on the NASA Official Website