Listen to the radio-cube of the Antennae Galaxies

00:20 by Gavin Starks

Below is the optical image of the “Antennae Galaxies” colliding, as taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

alma

Now, overlaid, is a radio-image taken by ALMA. In the ‘image’ in this case, each pixel is actually represents a spectrum of frequencies across the electromagnetic radio spectrum: the ‘image’ is actually a data-cube.

We have transformed this data-cube in two ways.

Firstly, so you can see it on the overlay, we’ve transformed the radio frequencies into visible, so you can see a slice of the cube.

Secondly, we’ve transformed the e-m spectrum into an acoustic spectrum. Remember light≠sound: what we are doing is translating the frequency of e-m radiation (‘light’) into a frequency of pressure wave (sound).

alma-slide

To view & listen open this link coming soon in a new tab while you are reading this post. That way you wont accidentally hit ‘back’ and have to reload it.

galaxy-player

By clicking the image and moving your cursor around you can “play” a spectrum of the colliding galaxies. Underneath, you can see a visual representation of the frequency spectrum. Spend some time moving slowly around the red(redshifted) areas – there is a surprising richness to the harmonics for such a simple sonification.

Note: this loads a 62MB data-cube before displaying (still working on a compressed version) … it could take many minutes to appear if you are on a slow connection – it did take these photons 70 million years to reach us, so please be patient while they go the last few bit-miles!

Sources:  HST image, National GeographicWIRED

Earthsounds

09:09 by Gavin Starks

Interesting to compare: the sound of electromagnetic measurements of Earth transformed directly into sound, and then slowed down

Original: https://www.nasa.gov/mp3/687631main_687014main_emfisis_chorus_1.mp3

Slowed down:

with this excerpt of a transitional piece I wrote when I was 19yo (I was moving from traditional tone/rhythm-based music to electronic).

Tempest — download now available

15:51 by Gavin Starks

 

Tempest

Tempest is now available for download at:  for free or, if you wish, for something.