Where the Physics of Music and the Music of (Astro)Physics Collide
Inspired by the discovery of the remarkable TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, an astrophysicist, a musician, and an astrophysicist/musician decided to see what happens when the rhythmic and harmonic structure of planetary systems is translated directly into music. The result is SYSTEM Sounds, a collection of music and animations generated by numerical simulations, real data, and a little creativity.
To celebrate the end of the Cassini spacecraft’s mission on Sept. 15 2017, we translated the moons and rings of Saturn into music in SATURN Sounds Part 1 & Part 2. Then we converted density waves within the rings into sound waves with interesting results (Elephants? Children playing? A Bomb drop? What do you hear?) and created a piece of Zappa-style music by converting every pixel of the highest resolution image of the B Ring into a duet for harp and drums.