Space has always been a fascinating subject for human beings and even the topic of historical scientists all looking for ways to better understand and appreciate its beauty. NASA has been doing a couple of sonifications of a number of extraterrestrial photos and just recently, another tune has been built.
Crab Nebula sonification
In a recent tweet by the NASA Hubble Telescope, the Crab Nebula has become the latest photo to be turned into a musical. This particular photo was translated into music through the use of colors as the purple which was the Hubble’s visible light data was translated into strings, the Blue and White which was the Chandra Observatory‘s X-ray data was translated into brass, and the Pink which was the Spitzer Space Teles’s own infrared data was translated into woodwinds.
The results showed a pretty harmonious tune which seemed like the background music for a certain movie. Perhaps something like interstellar? The video on Twitter was only 32 seconds long and it shows the translation done from left to right as the highlight was heard in the middle.
What is data sonification?
This is not the only sonification that has been done by NASA as the space agency has also uploaded a few other sounds coming from the galaxy on their official website. On the website is a YouTube video that showcases other sounds that can be heard through the use of sonification in order to translate a few other images from the galaxy.
According to an article by ProgrammingHistorian, sonification is known as the process of mapping certain aspects of data in order to produce sound signals. The technique is said to be called “sonification” if it is able to meet certain conditions.
1. Reproducibility – this means that the same data can be reportedly transformed in the very same way by certain other researchers in order to produce the very same result.
2. Intelligibility – which refers to how comprehensible the sound is within certain conditions.
These two different sonication conditions need to be met in order to call the whole process or the final output a sonification. A more in depth meaning as to what sonification is is reportedly laid out by Herman 2008 which shows the taxonomy of sonification.
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NASA Mars project
NASA has been busy not just with working on sonification of certain images but also a lot of other things. These include their goal to send human beings into Mars someday. As of the moment, NASA is teaming up with other companies like SpaceX in order to make rockets that are able to send astronauts back to the Moon in order to exercise and learn how to make the Mars trip possible.
Elon Musk has been quite public about his ultimate goal to help human beings reach Mars. The billionaire has mentioned this in a number of his interviews and speeches regarding his company SpaceX. Although there is no specific date as to when this Mars trip will happen, NASA, SpaceX, and the other space companies are all working together to speed up this process.