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Marissa Cetin
5 March 2024, 16:15

NASA transforms space images into music for new documentary, Listen To The Universe

You can hear what spiral galaxy M74 sounds like now that imagery of the "Phantom Galaxy" has been translated into sound

NASA transforms space images into music for new documentary, Listen To The Universe
Credit: NASA

NASA has revealed three new space "sonifications" and a new documentary, Listen To The Universe. Watch the trailer below. 

The new sonifications — "the process of translating data into sounds" — are developed from images captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and its other telescopes. They've now interpreted digital signals and other data from supernova remnant MSH 11-52 as 'Ghostly Cosmic Hand', spiral galaxy M74 dubbed 'Phantom Galaxy' and 'Jellyfish Nebula' IC 443.

The documentary, Listen To The Universe, which is available to watch now on new streaming service NASA+, dives into how these sonifications are created, their impact and the team behind them, as well as how they're part of NASA's ongoing efforts to "reach blind and visually impaired audiences". The short film is written, directed and produced by that NASA team: Liz Landau, Dr. Kimberly Arcand, April Jubett and Megan Watzke.

"Sonifications add a new dimension to stunning space imagery, and make those images accessible to the blind and low-vision community for the first time", Landau said in a press statement. "I was honored to help tell the story of how Dr. Arcand and the System Sounds team make these unique sonic experiences and the broad impact those sonifications have had".

You can explore NASA's entire collection of sonifications, including the sound of a black hole and a deep space nubula, here.

Watch the trailer for Listen To The Universe, out now via NASA+.

Find all of the new sonifications here, and listen to a clip of M74 below.