Hear the eerie sounds of distant galaxies in breathtaking video from NASA

    The binary star R Aquarii captured by NASA's SOFIA Flying Telescope.

The binary star R Aquarii captured by NASA’s SOFIA Flying Telescope.

Experience the pleasant hum of galaxies and stars in deep space whose data has been “sonified” into orchestral music.

Sound cannot travel in space, due to lack of air as a medium. Instead, NASA has produced musical tones from the telescope data itself that manifest into images such that you can now feel the beauty of space.

“The visualization team started with science observations from various telescopes, then applied some of the same software that Hollywood uses in its feature films to the data,” Frank Summers, who is a visualization scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland, said in a declaration.

A newly released 30-second video slides you through the five galaxies of Stephen’s Quintet in the constellation Pegasus, four of which are gravitationally linked to each other at about 290 million light years while the fifth is an innocent bystander some 39 million light-years away.

Related: Sounds in Space: What Noises Do Planets Make?

a cloud of red and purple gas surrounds two bright stars

a cloud of red and purple gas surrounds two bright stars

The new video is still except for a white horizontal line that runs through the group of galaxies and reveals where the sounds are coming from. Each of the five galaxies emits a great hiss as the stars in the foreground hum in the warm, mellowed tones of a xylophone-like instrument called a glass marimba. The piece of music is also sprinkled with higher pitches from a string instrument, representing the peaks around a star in telescope images that form when starlight bends around NASA’s hexagonal mirrors James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

“Astronomy has always been very visual, but there’s no reason why we have to represent data just that way,” said Kimberly Arcand, who is a visualization scientist at the Chandra X-ray Center in the same article. Massachusetts. declaration. “This kind of representation is taking the scientific history of Stephan’s Quintet the deep, dense, beautiful dataset and translating it into an auditory experience.”

As part of an ongoing project to convert telescope data into audio experiences, NASA has also released sonifications of two other celestial targets by combining the agency’s data Chandra X-ray ObservatoryJWST, Hubble Space Telescopeand now retired Spitzer Space Telescope.

The piece of music on R Aquarii, which is a binary star system of a size White dwarf and a pulsating red giant about 650 light-years from Earth, increases in volume in proportion to the brightness of the sources and their distance from the center.

At the two and eight o’clock positions, you can feel a strong wind, reflecting a jet of ionized matter as it shoots out of the white dwarf and slams into the surrounding stellar material. The Hubble data, which is displayed as “ribbon-like arcs” in the image, can be heard as soothing sounds like those ringing from singing bowls while the Chandra data is represented as a “sunny purr,” officials wrote. NASA in one image description released on Tuesday (June 20).

The soundtrack of Messier 104 (or M104), a giant galaxy in the Virgo Cluster about 28 million light-years away, is more like a whistle that squeals and sweetens depending on the brightness of the sources.

a huge cloud of white gas in deep space

a huge cloud of white gas in deep space

Translating data into sound can help people process information in different ways and bring to light some aspects of the data that hadn’t been noticed before, the scientists say. Such sonifications of data also make the beauty of the universe accessible to visually impaired space enthusiasts.

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“Sonifications offer me a sensory way to experience the scale and power of astronomical phenomena,” said Christine Malec, who is a member of the blind and visually impaired community supporting NASA’s sonification project, in the same statement. “They are an invitation for blind and visually impaired people to listen, enjoy, and then delve into reading to understand exactly what is being heard.”

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