The Milky Way Blues, the Sounds to Accompany the Images
As such, the astronomer came up with the idea of syncing these movements to music. He believes that this could help capture that sense of dynamism in a new and different way.
The song (available on Youtube) will be featured for thirty days on the website Astronomy Sound of the Month. It pinpoints spots on a picture of our galaxy to show what area is currently “playing” in the song. Greg Salvesen of the University of California created this animation. Heyer says he “cannot give [him] enough credit.”
Space is not simply empty. The galaxy is filled with gases and scientists can establish which particular sounds can be found where by studying their spectra. In Heyer’s case, he assigned different tones to different kinds of gas. This led to the appearance of the jazz-like tones of his Milky Way Blues.
In case you were wondering which is what, atomic gases get acoustic bass, ionized gas receives a saxophone, and different molecular gases get woodblocks and piano. Molecular gases are Heyer’s specialty.
Heyer also notes that he is not the first to have this idea. The researcher specifically mentions Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer who died in 1630. His Harmonies of the Worlds is based on the rotation of the planets.