As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
—Henry David Thoreau (via lostinamerica)
A Voyager Duet
Voyager 1 and 2 are mankind’s most distant scientific instruments. And now, they are our most distant musical instruments.
Dominic Vicinanza, a musician with a Ph.D. in physics, has taken almost 37 years (320,000 hourly data points!!) worth of readings from each spacecraft’s cosmic ray detector and converted them to a classical duet using Europe’s Géant data network.
What you’re hearing are cosmic protons, hitting the detectors with different amounts of energy, a scientific duet on piano and strings played by two spacecraft separated by billions of kilometers of cold, quiet space. That raw data is then converted to notes on a scale and set to a tempo using hours as its notes. Sonification like this can help human brains pick out patterns in complex data that might be overlooked, literally, if we only used our eyes.
Previously: This isn’t the first musical creation Vicinanza has created from Voyager’s data. Check out a previous one here.
Double bonus: Want more space sonification? I did a video about that last year. Here’s some music that’s out of this world.