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Space Music

December 6, 2017

Turning the Voyager spacecraft particle detector into a musical instrument.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

A little space music. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

(Voyager music)

This music was created by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it   through the solar system. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Voyagers launch, Domenico Vicinanza at Anglia Ruskin University and Genevieve Williams at the University of Exeter converted data from the spacecrafts particle detector into notes. Vicinanza says the music captures the rush of charged particles when Voyager approached planets, and new mixes of particles as it left our solar system.

DOMENICO VICINANZA (Anglia Ruskin University):

It has always been on, like an ongoing witness of what has happened to the spacecraft during the journey.

HIRSHON:

He says while the composition is primarily aesthetic, turning information into sound can sometimes lead researchers to discoveries they would have missed had they only looked at data charts. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon