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Music of the Sphere

The irregular surface of the Moon is somewhat similar to the ridges on a vinyl record. If you squint. Therefore it stands to reason(?) that you could “play” it.

There’s a new program called Moonbell which does just that. It lets you use topographical data to determine how musical pitch rises and falls, and can reproduce the sounds of 138 instruments.

The software works by interpreting information provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kaguya satellite, which used a laser altimeter to generate detailed maps of the Moon until its planned crash in June this year.

The music produced by Moonbell synthesises three types of topographical data. The melody is generated by the actual ups and downs in the Moon’s surface, while the “mid tones” are related to the elevation of the immediately surrounding area and the bass line is determined by an even broader section of elevation.

There’s more about the program at The Telegraph.

(via Discoblog)

Posted in Space September 9th, 2009 by Chip
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