“Pismis 24” is a star cluster in the diffuse nebula “NGC 6357” located in the constellation Scorpio, about 8,000 light years away from Earth. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has released work that converts this beautiful star cluster into “sound” and summarizes it in a short video of about 40 seconds.
Please enjoy the audio first.
This method of conveying information such as images using non-verbal sounds is called “sonification.” In the Pismith 24 recording, ‘sounds’ created from star cluster and nebula data are played back as if scanning from top to bottom of the image.
According to the Goddard Space Flight Center, the stars in the cluster will be played with a timbre that mimics a classical guitar, and the nebula will be played with a continuous sound like surround sound. In both cases, the brighter the sound, the louder the sound and the higher the pitch. Additionally, red in the image is said to be assigned to the low range, green to the mid range, and blue to the high range.
If you listen to the audible sounds of Pismith 24, the contrast between the first half, where the classical guitar sounds indicating star clusters are active, and the second half, where the mysterious nebula sounds, is exquisite . It is not a composed melody, but combined with the beauty of the heavenly bodies, it is an even more moving piece.
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- Image Credit: NASA、ESA、Jesús Maíz Apellániz (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, Spain)、Acknowledgment: David De Martin (ESA/Hubble); Sonification: SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)
- Goddard Space Flight Center – Sonification Data: Pismis 24
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