Voyager Probes Make Beautiful Music From Deep Space
Measurements by NASA’s two Voyager spacecraft helped reveal the outer planets of the solar system and then the doorsteps to interstellar space. Now, their data has been used to create a piece of classical music.
Physicist Domenico Vicinanza, product services manager at Europe’s high-speed GEANT computer network, selected 320,000 measurements from each of the two spacecraft and processed the data to create a duet.
“I used different groups of instruments and different sound textures to represent the two spacecraft,” Vicinanza said in a statement.
Vicinanza, who also is a musician, chose proton counts from the Voyagers’ cosmic ray detectors taken simultaneously at one-hour intervals when the spacecraft were billions of miles apart from one another.
“I wanted to compose a musical piece celebrating the Voyager 1 and 2 together,” he said.
The result is a beautiful, upbeat five-minute composition, but the score has some scientific value too.
“Analyzing the melody is exactly the same as looking at data in a spreadsheet, but using the ear,” Vicinanza added.
Vicinanza previously has created music from Voyager 1, which last year became the first human-made object to leave the solar system, and from the Large Hadron Collider, brain scans and volcanoes.