Listen to the colliding “Antennae Galaxies”
A sneak preview of some of the work I’ll be presenting on Sunday.
Below is a radio-image taken by ALMA of the “Antennae Galaxies” colliding. We have transformed the image-cube data, in which each pixel represents an electromagnetic radio spectrum, into a sonic spectrum. By clicking the image and moving your cursor around you can “play” a spectrum of the colliding galaxies.
Spend some time moving slowly around the red(redshifted) areas – there is a surprising richness to the harmonics for such a simple sonification.
Note: this loads a 62MB data-cube before displaying (still working on a compressed version) … it could take many minutes to appear if you are on a slow connection – it did take these photons 70 million years to reach us, so please be patient while they go the last few bit-miles!
To view & listen, I recommend you open this link in a new tab while you are reading this post.
To get a sense of the picture at optical wavelengths, here’s the HST image [more at National Geographic or WIRED].