Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Doctoral student Robert Alexander spoke with National Public Radio

Posted: February 11, 2013

Doctoral student Robert Alexander spoke with National Public Radio

Doctoral student Robert Alexander spoke with National Public Radio (NPR) about composing solar music. Alexander uses a process called sonification to create solar music by turning data collected by NASA satellites into sound.

The interview featured a clip called the heartbeat of the sun. It sounds like a low hum, which Alexander explains is caused by the rotation of the sun.

"There are a lot of things like solar flares or coronal mass ejections, and these things have the potential to knock out satellites and disrupt the power grid. And, so, when we think of the sun as a very dynamic and turbulent system, when we listen to the unfiltered and the raw data, that's what we're hearing. We're hearing the raw turbulence of the sun,” Alexander said about the sound in one of his clips, “Solar Heartbeat.”

Alexander told NPR he hopes that translating the sound of the sun into audio can help us understand and better relate to the solar system around us.

Read the full article here.

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