Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union

Contributed Papers

Sonification of Astronomical Data

Wanda L. Diaz-Merceda1, Robert M. Candeya2, Nancy Brickhousea3, Matthew Schnepsa3, John C. Mannonea4, Stephen Brewstera1 and Katrien Kolenberga3a5

a1 Glasgow University, Scotland, UK. email: wanda@dcs.gla.ac.uk

a2 NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt. Maryland, USA

a3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, USA

a4 Shirohisa Ikeda Project Gurabo, Puerto Rico

a5 Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Leuven, Belgium

Abstract

This document presents Java-based software called xSonify that uses a sonification technique (the adaptation of sound to convey information) to promote discovery in astronomical data. The prototype is designed to analyze two-dimensional data, such as time-series data. We demonstrate the utility of the sonification technique with examples applied to X-ray astronomy and solar data. We have identified frequencies in the Chandra X-Ray observations of EX Hya, a cataclysmic variable of the intermediate polar type. In another example we study the impact of a major solar flare, with its associated coronal mass ejection (CME), on the solar wind plasma (in particular the solar wind between the Sun and the Earth), and the Earth's magnetosphere.

Keywords

  • Solar Wind;
  • Sonification;
  • xSonify;
  • Variable Stars