Sonification Translates Milky Way Images From NASA into Sounds

Who said that outer space couldn’t sing its own songs? A wise man once said that life is meaningless without music, and NASA also agrees with that claim. Regardless of how illustrious a scientist is, the beauty of music will still touch his heart at one point. 

NASA has used the sonification process, one that turns data into audio for perceiving it in a new way: to reveal how the Universe sings to us. Thanks to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, we have a very conclusive video:

A new project using sonification turns astronomical images from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory and other telescopes into sound. This allows users to “listen” to the center of the Milky Way as observed in X-ray, optical, and infrared light. As the cursor moves across the image, sounds represent the position and brightness of the sources.

The Milky Way is just as majestic as it plays its music, considering that it’s hosting between 100 billion and 200 billion stars. The galaxy’s diameter is just as staggering as it measures about 100,000 light-years across. Several constellations are included, such as Orion, Sagittarius, Scorpius, Carina, and Ara. 

The collision with Andromeda is coming

After about 4.5 billion years, the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will intersect with each other, and the outcome will be a much larger galaxy. That period of time is also the age of our own solar system, and we hate to disappoint you but humanity most probably won’t live for another 4.5 billion years.

However, in one peculiar way, our galaxy is already touching Andromeda. The two gigantic gas halos from the two galaxies are intersecting with each other, according to research involving the Hubble Space Telescope. If you think that the Milky Way galaxy is big enough, you must know that Andromeda (aka Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224) is the home of about one trillion stars.

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Cristian Antonescu

About the Author: Cristian Antonescu

With a strong passion for astronomy since he was little and hundreds of articles written about this field, Cristian is a reliable writer who keeps the website up-to-date with news about the wonders of the Universe.

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