Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!

Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
From: sylvi macCormac (
Date: Sun Jul 31 2005 - 10:08:42 EDT

Laurie Anderson (NASA Artist in Residence) said that th colours we see in
pictures from outerspace from NASA are generated by th scientists in th labs
and not what is 'out there' ...

everything we see & hear are filtered through lenses ... glasses ... rose
coloured or other wise ...

sylvi macCormac

David Campbell wrote:

> Well said Shane. I was just thinking of a similar thing myself. In the pages
> of every Astronomy magazine, as well as a plethora of web-sites, there are
> stunning pictures of nebulas and other space images. If you read the fine
> print you find that these images have been time-compressed, transposed to
> visible frequencies, super-imposed and treated with any number of filters. I
> think of these space sounds as a being the same thing from an audio
> perspective. This is data taken from space and manipulated so it is
> perceivable. It may inspire awe or not, but it is hardly a sham or a dupe.
> Shane Turner said:
> > Exactly. The real world, and what we see come out of a laboratory are two
> > completely different things. X-rays are far outside the spectrum of
> > visible light... even the "colors" seen in such images can be faked by
> > taking three different wavelengths and assigning a color value to them.
> >
> > We as humans often take things outside of our limited senses and adapt
> > them so that we can see, feel them. This recording of the Aurora done
> > here on Earth, is no different in that aspect. The interest being,
> > obviously, that the original wavelengths were the same as that of audio
> > frequencies. The curiosity being.. "what do these waveforms sound like?"
> >
> > But the original question raised here was that people were saying it was
> > beautiful. The old saying stands: Beauty is entirely in the eye of the
> > beholder. Especially of natural phenomena, or anything related to it.
> > Someone saying "the sound of the thunder.." or "this sound is beautiful"
> > is merely one point of view. As is someone telling everyone else that
> > they are not allowed to like it!
> >
> > --shane turner
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Richard Wentk" <>
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2005 7:02 AM
> > Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
> >
> >
> >> At 08:23 31/07/2005, you wrote:
> >>
> >>>There is no real difference. I 100% agree. Both are perfectly valid
> >>>ways *to make music*. My only objection is when people talk about
> >>>what the aurora or whatever "sounds" like. It doesn't "sound" like
> >>>anything. To say that beautiful sounds come from space just isn't
> >>>true. Perhaps I'm being a pedant here, but just as DNA doesn't
> >>>"sound" like anything, neither does this aurora.
> >>
> >> I think you're being a pedant.
> >>
> >> If you use Chandra to take an X-ray image of a galaxy, you get a dataset
> >> that then has to be reinterpreted into a visible picture. Still - the
> >> picture *is* a visualisation of what the galaxy looks like in the x-ray
> >> part of the spectrum.
> >>
> >> Literally of course we can't see x-rays, and most of the time we can't
> >> even see the target object with the naked eye. But that doesn't mean the
> >> result isn't a valid, useful or interesting way of representing the
> >> dataset, or that 'looks like' isn't a good description of the result.
> >>
> >> Sonification swaps media and wavelengths, but it's still a representation
> >> of a data set. So conceptually it's as valid to say that a piece of DNA
> >> sounds like [a sound] as it is to say that it looks like a chain of
> >> coloured balls or a string of linked GATC letters.
> >>
> >> The real question seems to be how stupid you believe the listeners are.
> >> I'm assuming that people are intelligent enough to understand the
> >> difference between going to Saturn with a microphone and DAT recorder and
> >> going there with a radio. In the same way that they're intelligent enough
> >> to understand that short wave radio spikes and squeals are what lightning
> >> sounds like on a radio, and different to the thunder that's a purely
> >> acoustic effect.
> >>
> >> Richard
> >>
> >>
> >
> >

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