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Merging Black Holes to Saturn Rings, Scientists are Creating Music From Sounds of Space

Representative image. Credits: IANS

Representative image. Credits: IANS

Now, a team of scientists and artists has converted these waves into sounds and incorporated them into musical tracks of a new album - Celestial Incantations.

“In space, no one can hear you scream,” the iconic line from the 1979 sci-fi horror movie Alien aptly describes the inability of sound to travel in space where there is no mechanical medium. However, other kinds of waves such as electromagnetic waves - light and radiation - and gravitational waves - vibrations in the spacetime itself - can travel in empty space. Now, a team of scientists and artists has converted these waves into sounds and incorporated them into musical tracks of a new album - Celestial Incantations. The album contains ten tracks ranging from about three minutes to nine minutes.

The composers claim that the sounds in the album represent various astronomical events such as a merger of two black holes, oscillations from a comet, radiation from a galactic pulsar, and many other sounds from and beyond our solar system. The album also includes some sounds from the earth as well, such as air bubbles from Antarctica and lightning activity in near-Earth space among three continents.

According to the composers, Celestial Incantations combines “sounds of space” with a wide musical palette and includes electronic, traditional and orchestral instruments as well. The album is available online for streaming or downloading for free.

“Our Celestial Incantations album is a musical cocoon transporting us from Earth into this new wilderness, giving listeners time for reflection to ponder on the wonder and mystery of the Universe," said Nigel Meredith, member of the team that released the album, in a news release by the Australian National University. The trio includes Kim Cunio, an associate professor of composition at ANU, Diana Scarborough, a multidisciplinary artist from England, and Nigel Meredith, a space weather scientist at the British Atlantic Survey.

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The team runs the Sounds of Space project which they describe as an “art-science collaboration inspired by the ‘sounds’ of space from Earth to beyond the galaxy.” The previous album of the trio was Aurora Musicalis that was released in May 2020.

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first published:June 25, 2021, 14:44 IST