Humans will most likely never be able to visit the center of our Milky Way galaxy, but thanks to NASA, we can still explore it. Telescopes enables us to view the Galactic Center in different types of light, and by translating the inherently digital data captured by telescopes in space into images, astronomers create visual representations that would otherwise be invisible to us. Now if you want to hear this data, the process is called sonification, which translates the ones and zeroes into sound. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s new project brings the center of the Milky Way to listeners for the first time. The translation process starts on the left side of the image and moves to the right, with the sounds representing the position and brightness of the sources. The light of objects located towards the top of the image translates into higher pitches while the intensity of the light controls the volume. Star data is turned into to individual notes and extended clouds of gas / dust produce an evolving drone.
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In addition to the Galactic Center, this project has also produced sonified versions of the remains of a supernova called Cassiopeia A, or Cas A, and the ‘Pillars of Creation’ located in Messier 16. Sound plays a valuable role in our understanding of the world and cosmos around us. Explore how scientists are using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other instruments around the world and in space to study the cosmos through sound at the Universe of Sound website,” said NASA.