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The sound of the Cosmos

Credit:Gettyimages

Sonification of NGC 1300 galaxy

More than 25 centuries ago, Pythagoras of Samos held the belief that the planets move according to mathematical equations. Thus they resonate to produce musical symphonies. These symphonies are inaudible unless one follows his teaching and develops the senses to hear them. It is claimed that Pythagoras was able to hear the music of the planets while meditating under the night sky. It may sound like mysticism but it is a concept well-adopted by modern scientists. Sure, they don't meditate or follow some guru's teachings. Scientists use observatories, telescopes, and super-computers. However, the idea remains the same. The Universe is the greatest musical composition made by Nature itself.


Recently, NASA showcased the latest (not the first) sonification of the NGC 1300 galaxy. The awesome spiral resides about 70 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. NGC 1300 holds blue clusters of young stars, pink clouds of star formation, and dark lanes of dust.

M. Russo and A. Santaguida from SYSTEM sounds translated the rhythm and harmony of the galaxy into music and sound. To represent this image with sound, scientists assigned louder volume to brighter light. Light farther from the center is pitched higher as a counterclockwise radar scans across the galaxy.

Below you can hear the mesmerizing eerie sounds of the cosmos.


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