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Scientists capture the sound of sunrise on Mars

Scientists capture the sound of sunrise on Mars
An image of the 5,000th sunrise captured by the Mars rover, Opportunity

Imagine you are on Mars, relaxed, watching the beautiful sunrise. What song would you use to give more weight to the scene? Well, scientists have created a soundtrack of the 5,000th dawn on the red planet using data sonification techniques to create a two-minute musical piece.

The soundtrack of a sunrise

The sounds could be produced thanks to the images captured by the rover Opportunity, which lost communication with the Earth in the first half of this year. In this way, the researchers scanned the images from left to right, pixel by pixel, taking information about the color, brightness, elevation of the terrain, etc.

With the help of an algorithm, they were able to assign each of these elements a specific tone and melody. What’s the score? A two-minute video full of silent and slow harmonies due to the dark tones of the image. From the middle of the video, the sharp sounds begin to take center stage due to the sonification of the solar disk.

Dr. Domenico Vicinanza, from Anglia Ruskin University, director of the sound engineering research group, said they were “absolutely delighted to present this work on such a fascinating planet.”

In addition, the scientist added that the sonification of images is a really flexible technique that allows exploring science in several domains. “From the study of certain characteristics of the surfaces and atmospheres of the planets to the analysis of climatic changes or the detection of volcanic eruptions,” he added for Phys.org

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