A dying star never sounded so sweet: NASA translates light data from Butterfly Nebula to sound | Listen


Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 24-09-2022 20:40 IST | Created: 24-09-2022 19:48 IST
A dying star never sounded so sweet: NASA translates light data from Butterfly Nebula to sound | Listen
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Kastner (RIT)

NASA has translated light data captured by the Hubble Space Telescope from the Butterfly Nebula into beautiful sound - a process called sonification - which you can listen to.

NGC 6302 or Butterfly Nebula lies between 2,500 and 3,800 light-years away in the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).

The nebula is played on strings and synthetic tones, while stars are represented by digital harp. Brightness controls the volume, and the tilted hourglass orientation of the nebula produces an overall rising motion, with the prominent iron-rich jet producing a quick rise near the center, according to NASA.

Listen to the eerie sound coming from the Butterfly Nebula:

Sonification credits: SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)

This spectacular Hubble image of the Butterfly Nebula shows a colorful view of star death. What resembles dainty butterfly wings are regions of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit that are tearing across space at more than 950 000 kilometres per hour - fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes - according to Nasa.

The butterfly stretches for more than two light-years, which is about half the distance from the Sun to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri.

In addition to Hubble, data sonification translates information collected by various other NASA missions like Chandra X-ray Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope and the newly-launch James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Through this process, the same digital data that gets translated into images is transformed into sound for people to interact with the cosmic objects in a new way.

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