Tag Archives: sound

20 Hz



A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Audio Data courtesy of CARISMA, operated by the University of Alberta, funded by the Canadian Space Agency. Special Thanks to Andy Kale.

Made for the exhibition Invisible Fields at Arts Santa Monica in Barcelona Spain.

20 Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations. As different frequencies interact both visually and aurally, complex patterns emerge to create interference phenomena that probe the limits of our perception.

05.00 minutes. / HD / 2011

HD single channel and HD 3D single channel.

20 Hz is co-commissioned by Arts Santa Monica + Lighthouse . Supported by the British Council.



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The Music of the Sun

I’m always searching for new sources of sound, but astronomers at the University of Sheffield have come up with a great one. They’ve managed to make an audio recording of the magnetic fields present in the atmosphere of the sun.

Coronal loops are huge magnetic loops that can be over 60,000 miles long, coil themselves in the sun’s atmosphere, and vibrate in a way very similar to how sound waves travel in a stringed instrument.

These coronal loops vibrate back and forth, just as if they were plucked by a giant hand. These loops are thought to be involved with solar flares, and create what scientists call “space weather”… no, I’m not making this up.


Space Storms can sometimes go a bit crazy, and can cause all sorts of havoc on earth, like destroying electronics, killing power grids and wrecking satellites. NASA claims that we should experience such a storm sometime around 2013.

The scientists translated measurements the vibrations into sound (as the sound itself cannot travel through the near-vacuum of space), and sped up the resulting waveforms to put them into the range of human hearing. Other than just producing some pretty amazing sounds, “sun music” has other uses as well. Professor Robertus von Fáy-Siebenbürgen, head of the solar physics research group at Sheffield University, said:

Studying the “music of the sun” would provide new ways of understanding and predicting solar flares before they happen.

Here’s a sample of what the SunSynth sounds like: VIDEO


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