Stars Used To Make Music
A team of scientists have created music that is truly out of this world - by using data from stars, they created a melody for the reggae-rock band Echo Movement.
The music was created at Georgia Tech's Sonification Lab using data gathered by NASA's Kepler space telescope.
"The Sonification Lab receives a lot of requests to convert scientific data into sound, but this one was truly unique," Bruce Walker, a professor in Georgia Tech's school of psychology, said in a statement. "It's not often that we have a chance to help an actual star compose music."
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The band Echo Movement wanted to infuse their song with a heavenly sound, and although the rhythm, pitches, and tempo can all be altered, the band wanted the melody to stay true to the data. To do so, the researchers looked at the star Kepler 4665989 and loaded the numerical data collected by the Kepler telescope.
"Those numerical values were loaded into our Sonification Sandbox software to create sequences of sonified musical pitches," said Riley Winton, a psychology student and leader of the project. "The process put us on the right track."
The researchers then looked at the star Kepler 10291683 and used its data to add a tremolo, or trembling effect. They claimed it made the melody sound less computerized and more natural.
"People have made music with space sounds before, but largely using pulsars and space events that can be recorded in the radio spectrum. We wanted something completely off the chart," said band member David Fowler.
The Kepler telescope's main purpose to find Earth-like planets that can be homes to biological life. It constantly records the brightness levels of around 150,000 stars. Dips in brightness can be attributed to a planet crossing in front of it, and information about the planet and star can be gleaned from this.
Check out the melody here.