update: Pulsar and Blazar musicalizations

Latest on SYSTEM Sounds website


Listen to the sound of the Black Widow Pulsar as it destroys its mate! The pulsar’s 622Hz period produces an Eb note and the flickers are caused by the radio beam passing through the brown dwarf’s tail which acts like a magnifying glass. All sounds in these videos are created with data of the pulsar’s radio emission. In addition to the direct sonification of the radio waves, the percussion is triggered by the magnification events and all the pitched sounds are the pulsar’s (unmagnified) signal shifted to different notes. Is the unlucky brown dwarf trying to signal SOS?



We recently worked with NASA to convert the gamma rays of a famous flaring blazar into sound. Higher energy rays are represented as higher pitched notes and visualized with larger circles. On July 12, 2018, astronomers announced the detection of a high-energy neutrino created by this blazar during the flaring event heard in the video. This is the first time we’ve been able to discover the source of high-energy neutrinos coming from outside our galaxy!