Each wavelength of light making up the Crab Nebula image is put together with instruments

On Saturday, NASAExoplanets on Twitter shares a video in which each wavelength of light making up the Crab Nebula image is paired with instruments.

X-rays (blue and white) are brass, optical/visible light (purple) are strings, and infrared (pink) are woodwinds.

According to NASA on June 3, Elements of the image, like brightness and position, are assigned pitches and volumes.

Each translation below starts on the left side of the image and moves to the right. No sound can travel in space, but sonifications provide a new way of experiencing and conceptualizing data. Sonification lets the audience, comprising of blind and visually impaired communities, to listen to astronomical images and explore their data.

The Crab Nebula is the expanding remnant of a supernova that occurred in 1054 A.D. Modern telescopes have captured its enduring engine powered by a quickly spinning neutron star that formed when a massive star collapsed.

“The combination of rapid rotation and a strong magnetic field generates jets of matter and anti-matter flowing away from its poles, and winds outward from its equator,” a source as per NASA.

For the translation of these data into sound, which pans left to right, each wavelength of light has been put together with a different family of instruments.


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