This project originated at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics when sociologist of science Gerhard Sonnert met the blind astronomer Wanda Diaz Merced, who studied the sonification of astronomic data as a tool for data analysis and signal detection. Among other data, she used sonified x-rays from EX Hydrae (depicted above), a binary star system that is a cataclysmic variable of the intermediate polar type. With the help of composer Volkmar Studtrucker, these sounds turned into music. The project resulted in nine songs of various musical styles, played by a trio.

Here’s the sonified data:

Sonified data

And here’s the music it was turned into:


For more information on this exciting new way to hear science, visit the Star Songs webpage.

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