A Universe of Sound

WASP-96 b Sonification

Video Description:
NASA’s Webb Telescope observed the atmospheric characteristics of the hot gas giant exoplanet WASP-96 b — which contains clear signatures of water — and the resulting transmission spectrum’s individual data points were translated into sound.

The sonification scans the spectrum from left to right. From bottom to top, the y-axis ranges from less to more light blocked. The x-axis ranges from 0.6 microns on the left to 2.8 microns on the right. The pitches of each data point correspond to the frequencies of light each point represents. Longer wavelengths of light have lower frequencies and are heard as lower pitches. The volume indicates the amount of light detected in each data point. The new sounds were also adapted to a video, allowing sighted viewers to watch the progression as the vertical line moves across the graph, ringing out a musical note for each data point.

The four water signatures are represented by the sound of water droplets falling. These sounds simplify the data — water is detected as a signature that has multiple data points. The sounds align only to the highest points in the data.

This sonification does not represent sounds recorded in space. Two musicians converted Webb’s transmission spectrum to musical pitches to help listeners hear its data.

Explore Webb’s transmission spectrum of hot gas giant exoplanet WASP-96 b in more detail, including its full text description and data download.

Access more information & file formats on this sonification

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The Chandra sonifications were led by the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC), with input from NASA's Universe of Learning. The sustained collaboration was driven by visualization scientist Dr. Kimberly Arcand (CXC), astrophysicist Dr. Matt Russo and musician Andrew Santaguida (both of the SYSTEM Sounds project). For other sonifications, please see their linked pages.

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Creator/Manager: Kimberly Arcand
Art Direction/Design: Kristin DiVona
Web Developer: Khajag Mgrdichian

Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. This site was developed with funding from NASA under contract NAS8-03060   |   Privacy  |  Accessibility
Additional support from NASA's Universe of Learning (UoL). UoL materials are based upon work supported by NASA under award number NNX16AC65A to the Space
Telescope Science Institute, working in partnership with Caltech/IPAC, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and Sonoma State University.