Pillars Of Creation
A sonic stellar nursery
We worked with NASA and the Chandra X-ray Center to convert the iconic image of the Pillars of Creation into sound. The image is a composite of optical light captured by Hubble and X-rays captured by Chandra. The image is converted to sound using a version of the inverse spectrogram method. Time flows left to right, pitch indicates the vertical position of light sources (high towards the top), and volume communicates the brightness and structure of the nebula. Compact X-ray sources (mostly hot stars) are heard as short tones while the pillars create a roaring sound that rises and falls.
This sonification was a collaboration with NASA/CXC/SAO/K. Arcand and ourselves, M. Russo & A. Santaguida (SYSTEM Sounds) as part of NASA’s Universe of Learning program. Image credits: X-ray – NASA/CXC/SAO, Optical – NASA/STScI.