Deep space digital telescopes have provided the ability for humans to observe imagery of the Milky Way galaxy's center, but new technology will now allow humans the opportunity to hear the stars.
Much like telescopes translate binary code into vibrant images of our galaxy, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is using the technique of sonification to translate galactic formations into sound based in part on their brightness and shape.
NASA is showcasing their results in a variety of sample images that cover a variety of galactic landmarks around a stunning 26,000 light years from Earth. Images from the Hubble Space Telescope depict star clusters, translated sonically as individual notes using twinkling pianos and harp plucks. Each stars' brightness impacts the amplitude of the note it projects, meaning brighter stars convey more intense sounds.
Meanwhile, images from the Spitzer Space Telescope yield a different set of sounds, due to its ability to capture galactic clouds with infrared imaging. The clouds produce crescendoing sounds using expanding pads. The voluminous sounds are fitting for the freeform structures, products of star explosions flowing throughout the universe.
Listeners can play each interstellar arrangement now via the Chandra website.