Scientists know a lot about Mars, at least when it comes to how it looks. On the other hand, the sound is much more demanding, and it's not like we have powerful microphones that hear the wind across the Marshes.
Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Exeter have now created an interesting piece of music that was not only inspired by Mars, but was actually composed by a computer algorithm that used a Mars sunrise as data. The result is a surprisingly pleasant piece of music that you can hear yourself.
The play is only a few minutes long, so listen and listen:
Pretty neat, huh? But how exactly was it created? Anglia Ruskin University describes its creation as follows:
The researchers created the piece of music by scanning an image pixel by pixel from left to right, looking at the brightness and color information and combining it with terrain elevation. They used algorithms to assign each element a specific pitch and melody.
As you might expect, the softer notes and flowing background noise come from the dark area around the sun in the picture. Higher grades are lighter pixels near the bright sphere in the middle.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be able to present this work on such a fascinating planet," Dr. Domenico Vicinanza, one of the scientists involved in the project, in a statement. "Image sonification is a truly flexible method of researching science, and can be used in a variety of fields, from studying specific properties of planetary surfaces and atmospheres to analyzing weather changes and detecting volcanic eruptions."
The play will be "performed" at the supercomputing conference SC18 in Dallas on November 13th. The audience will hear the song through traditional speakers as well as through "vibration transducers" that allow them feeling it. Pretty neat.