October 1, 2022

Wire Service Canada

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The world of the Webb telescope becomes music – video

The videos are available on the telescope’s YouTube profile, maintained by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and Canada (CSA).

“Music affects our emotional centers,” says Matt Russo, a musician and professor of physics at the University of Toronto. “Our goal is to make the images and data from the Webb telescope understandable through sound, thus helping listeners create their own mental images.”

Sounds allow you to “read” images from left to right, with louder sounds where the light is more intense and higher frequencies to indicate what is above what is below.

In the Carina Nebula, for example, the blue gases and dust are translated into sounds like wind, while the melody represents the rise and fall of the cliff, with stronger tones representing the brightest light.

As for the two images of the Southern Ring Nebula, the light in the near-infrared (left) is represented by higher frequencies, while the mid-infrared (right) is represented by lower frequencies.

Instead, the graph representing the spectrum of the atmosphere of the exoplanet Wasp-96 b has been translated so that the height of each data point corresponds to the frequency of the light, while the size indicates the amount of detected light. Finally, four droplet sounds represent the “signatures” of the water.

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