NASA InSight Spacecraft Landing on Mars Will Be Live Streamed

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 15, 2018

Dr. Genevieve Williams, of the University of Exeter, and Dr Domenico Vicinanza, of Anglia Ruskin University, used data sonification technique to create a two-minute soundtrack of the Martian sunrise captured by NASA's Opportunity rover. The team then used the data sonification technique that deployed algorithms to assign each element a particular melody and pitch, thus translating the images into music. Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University and University of Exeter in the United Kingdom created the piece of music by scanning a picture from left to right, pixel by pixel, and looking at brightness and colour information and combining them with terrain elevation.

Launched on May 5, Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander marks NASA's first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012. All starting from a regular image, the two researchers created a "Mars soundscape" that faithfully captures the aesthetics of the landscape.

"Ultrasonic image processing is really a flexible technique, it can be used in several fields, from the study of certain characteristics of the surfaces and atmosphere of the planet, analysis of the changes of weather to the detection of volcanic eruptions".

To create the music, researchers scanned the images from left to right.

"We are absolutely thrilled about presenting this work about such a fascinating planet", Dr. Domenico Vicinanza, one of the scientists involved in the project, said in a statement. As the image grows from dark to light from the edge to the center, the pitch of the music rises to "show" the bright disk of the Sun rising in the sky.

The piece, "Mars Soundscapes", will make it world premiere in the NASA booth at the Supercomputing SC18 Conference in Dallas, which starts tomorrow. Earlier this year, it ceased communications following a dust storm. During the presentation, they will use conventional speakers as well as vibrational transducers to let audience feel vibrations in their hands as they listen to this creative piece of music. Researchers hope that it may resume its function later this year.

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