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NASA launched a sonification project that converts Hubble Space Telescope photos and videos into auditory sounds. A cluster of young stars, a supernova remnant, and a huge black hole was recently transformed into a quiet yet powerful song by the project.

Space, according to NASA, is essentially silent. Charts, plots, graphs, and photographs are created from data acquired by space telescopes. The cosmic data, however, may be analyzed by hearing thanks to sonification.

The Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) is leading the data sonification project in collaboration with NASA's Universe of Learning initiative. Dr. Kimberly Arcand, astronomer Dr. Matt Russo, and musician Andrew Santaguida created a musical representation of the celestial bodies by assigning unique sounds and frequencies to the stars.

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(Photo : European Space Agency on Wikimedia Commons)
This image shows the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in its high orbit 600 kilometers above Earth.

NASA Hubble Telescope: Messier 87 Black Hole Video

NASA said Messier 87, a large black hole with massive jets of energetic particles around it, has been researched for many years. Red clouds of heated gas interact with the black hole, which are particularly dense in the center.

According to the sonification reading, the black hole was transferred in a sweeping clockwise manner, with the 3 o'clock position as its beginning point. Bright light towards the center produces louder sounds, whereas light further out produces higher-pitched sounds. Short plucked noises represent the entire image.

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NASA Hubble Telescope: Star Cluster Westerlund 2 Photo

Westerlund 2 is a young star cluster situated around 20,000 light years away from Earth, NASA explained on its Twitter account. Within the thick clouds, 2 million-year-old stars may be seen developing. The brilliance of the stars varies due to dust clumps rotating around them.

The sound data is rendered from left to right in sonification reading. The sounds produced by blighter stars are louder. The vertical position of a sound source determines its pitch, with top-image stars having a higher pitch and low-image stars having a lower pitch. Strings play the Hubble data, with plucked sounds for specific stars and bowed noises for diffuse clouds. The X-ray data from Chandra is represented as bells.

NASA Hubble Telescope: Supernova Remnant Video

NASA Hubble Telescope also chose the Tycho supernova remnant. Chandra X-Ray Observatory uploaded the footage on YouTube and is also embedded below this page. The activity in space begins within and then explodes outside. The photos display a wide range of colors connected with various elements. Iron is red, silicon is green, and sulfur is blue. The abstract color combinations in between are created by combining elements.

As the sonification reading points out, the sound data is rendered first from the center similar to the explosion. Color was used to assign sounds, with red representing low notes and blue or violet representing high notes. Sounds ranging from red and blue notes will be combined in between the colors. The sound frequency was determined by the image brightness. A harp plays the stars outside the initial blast.

Sonification is a fascinating new method of comprehending space activity. It's very soothing to listen to the sounds. In the future, NASA may have more intriguing sonification projects.

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