Scientists created music from the sounds of a planetary system, so let’s nerd out on that for a minute
Earlier this year, NASA discovered previously uncharted cosmic territory, and now scientists have put a soundtrack to those exciting space findings. As Co.Design reports, University of Toronto astrophysicist Matt Russo translated the orbital patterns of the Trappist-1 solar system into music by combining his planetary research and his musical background. Needless to say, the results are pretty friggin’ cool.
Seriously, the sounds of the seven other Earth-like planets scientists recently discovered orbiting in the heavens combined with the audio of the Cassini spacecraft passing between Saturn and its rings is making us all the more anxious to trade in our Earthly citizenship for a lifetime of otherworldly exploration because space sounds awesome, you guys.
Russo — who also plays guitar for indie pop group Rvnners — collaborated with his bandmate Andrew Santaguida to create the stellar musical animation, which is based on data gathered by Russo’s colleague Daniel Tomayo. Using Tomayo’s findings as a guide, Russo and Santaguida assigned a note to each planet, giving the C note to the outermost orb, which sounds whenever that planet passes in front of Trappist 1. Additionally, a drum beat signifies the moment a faster inner planet conjuncts its outer neighbor, creating a series of odd harmonies. In order to make the sounds audible to the human ear, the scientists “scaled up the orbital frequencies by 212 million times.”
While this definitely makes us interested in hearing other intragalactic interactions set to music, Russo told The New York Times that this isn’t necessarily the case for all planetary systems. He describes the result of putting Kepler 90 and its seven exoplanets to music as “horrendous.”