Scientists have created the soundtrack of the 5,000th Mars sunrise photographed by Nasa’s Opportunity rover. The method they used to turn a photo into music is known as data sonification. It consists of scanning the photo from left to right, then each element of brightness and colour information is converted into a specific pitch and melody by algorithms.
The result was a two-minute soundtrack named Mars Soundscapes which will be presented at the Supercomputing SC18 Conference in Dallas next week. Besides the sounds, the audience will be exposed to vibrational transducers that will allow them to feel vibrations in their hands as they listen.
“Image sonification is a really flexible technique to explore science and it can be used in several domains, from studying certain characteristics of planet surfaces and atmospheres, to analysing weather changes or detecting volcanic eruptions,” said Dr Domenico Vicinanza of Anglia Ruskin University.