“You’ll want to hear this,” Nasa quite rightly wrote in their sonification post of the Southern Ring Nebula. Shared on Instagram, the incredible sound of the sonification has left people intrigued. There is a chance that you will also find the post fascinatingly creepy.
In their caption, Nasa shared detailed information not just about the nebula but also the process of sonification. “In this video, each of Webb’s two views of the Southern Ring Nebula — in near-infrared light (top) and mid-infrared light (bottom) — has been adapted to sound. While sounds were not actually recorded in space, the colours in the images were mapped to pitches of sound, with frequencies of light converted directly to frequencies of sound. Near-infrared light is represented by a higher range of frequencies at the beginning of the track. Mid-way through, the notes change, becoming lower overall to reflect that mid-infrared includes longer wavelengths of light,” they wrote.
“When it comes to space, for many of us beautiful imagery is what comes to mind. Sonifications are audio interpretations of scientific data that offer another way to experience the universe. While they are intended to support blind and low-vision listeners first, they are also designed to captivate all listeners,” they explained.
“‘When I first heard a sonification, it struck me in a visceral, emotional way that I imagine sighted people experience when they look up at the night sky,’ said Christine Malec, a member of the blind and low vision community who served as a consultant on this project. ‘When I listen, I’m engaged in a really unique way because I know that each tiny sound has meaning and represents something vast in the cosmos’,” Nasa added.
Take a look at the post:
Since being shared, the post has gathered over 2.2 million views and the numbers are only increasing. The share has also prompted people to post various comments. One Instagram user said, “It’s creepy but intriguing.” Another person commented, “This is incredible”. A third posted, “All these surprises.” A fourth Instagram user shared, “It’s cool and scary.”
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