Listen to the Music of a Dying Star
The ALMA Music Box, currently on display in Japan, now available on iTunes
27 October 2015
Music from the ALMA Music Box — an audio artwork that plays melodies created from ALMA observations — is now available to be purchased in the iTunes store, on the compilation CD Music for a Dying Star.
R Sculptoris, a massive red giant star located roughly 1000 light-years away in the constellation of Sculptor, is in the final stages of its life, and is violently expelling massive amounts of gas into space as it depletes its supply of fuel.
The ALMA Music Box plays musical discs inscribed with information from ALMA’s observations of this dying star, based on images taken at 70 different radio frequencies. The Music Box, a collaboration between the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, PARTY New York and Qosmo, plays 70 musical discs, each corresponding to a different radio frequency observation. The discs feature holes corresponding to points of intensity in the emission.
The ALMA Music Box will be on display at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan until 15 November 2015. The exhibition also features a miniature model of a Japanese 12-metre ALMA antenna and two receiver cartridges, which are installed into the antennas to receive radio waves.
The exhibition’s success recently prompted the production of the crowd-funded compilation CD Music for a Dying Star. This CD features an assortment of melodies from the box integrated into original tracks from 11 international artists, including Taeji Sawai, Takagi Masakatsu, Throwing a Spoon, and Christian Fennesz.
ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its Member States), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (South Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ.
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