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June 2017 Giveaway

Making Music with Solar Flares & Cosmic Rays

Interested in what a solar flare might sound like? NASA has a “sonification” project called CRaTER (which stands for Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation) Radio that converts data received from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (which has six detectors that generate six streams of data) into musical sounds, and streams those sounds via the Internet. The data from the Orbiter is used to play samples of instruments ranging from banjo to piano. According to Marty Quinn, who led the project, our minds find this a pleasurable way to interface with the data — sort of a musical weather report — and also allows the visually impaired to access the data.

The density of the cosmic rays picked up by the Orbiter detector determine whether the scale used is major or minor and what instruments are playing.

Read the full story at OPB.

Here CRaTER music and learn more about how the music is generated here.

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