Exospheres & the Parameters 

Kepler 186f next to our World (credit PHL @ UPR Arecibo, NASA)

Kepler 186f next to our World (credit PHL @ UPR Arecibo, NASA)

cREATING THE MUSIC

Arthur is working with exoplanet hunter Jean-Michel Desert (Boulder University/NASA/European Space Agency/CALTECH) to generate signature musical motifs for already discovered and as yet unknown exoplanets, in the ongoing quest to discover new worlds orbiting alien suns and the explore the tantalising prospect of alien life.

Because Kepler-186 (the host star) is a redder star that our sun (cooler star), then the color of sky on this planet, as well as the photosynthesis, would be at redder color than for the Earth.

Arthur and Jean-Michel have constructed a novel way to explore the diversity of new worlds (exoplanets) musically.  They are using empirical measurements of three thousand plus exoplanets from NASA’s Kepler mission and other space-based and ground based-observatories, and comparing these to the properties of our own habitable Earth (i.e. establishing the possibility of life). Arthur and Jean-Michel have devised an algorithm to generate a unique 8-note melody from every exoplanet for which we have the data. As new planets are documented we can plug them into the system and get new melodies. The more earth-like the planet, the more consonant the melody - and conversely the more alien, the more extreme.

Kilanovas & Gravitational Waves

This illustration shows the gravitational waves thought to be produced by two orbiting white dwarf stars in a binary system called J0651, according to an August 2012 study. Credit: NASA

This illustration shows the gravitational waves thought to be produced by two orbiting white dwarf stars in a binary system called J0651, according to an August 2012 study.
Credit: NASA

CREATING THE Music

Arthur’s second project with astrophysicist Samaya Nissanke (RADBOUD University/NASA/ESA/ CALTECH) features gravitational waves - Ripples in space time curvature and an intrinsic prediction of general relativity. Predicted by Einstein these phenomena represent an entirely new way to listen to the universe; giving us front row seats at the birth of black holes and deaths of neutron stars. Expressing these waves in the fabric of space time as sound gives us insight to the true frontiers of what we know of the universe.


Arthur and Samaya have constructed a musical narrative that directly uses the General Relativity predicted “chirp” signals that are emitted in gravitational radiation from merging pairs of black holes and neutron stars, as well as their optical and radio light curves. The tremendously exciting aspect of this project is that upgraded versions of gravitational wave detectors are coming online this September after 5 years offline and the first gravitational wave detection ever is highly anticipated in the next couple of years! This will open up an entirely new spectrum on viewing the (violent) Universe, and allow us to measure strongly curved space times and black holes with unprecedented probes. Musically we can use the actual waveforms in audible spectrum as well as taking the optical and radio light-curves to generate harmonic progressions.

WATCH MORE BLACK HOLE ANIMATIONS HERE