Data and Music: What 50 Years of Exploring Our Moon Sounds Like

Data and Music: What 50 Years of Exploring Our Moon Sounds Like

Sonification is the process of translating data into sound and music. In this musical data sonification of lunar knowledge and exploration, we can hear the progress made throughout the Apollo program to now as our understanding of the Moon expands. Listen to the percussion, which signals launches and the passage of time; the pitch of the string and brass instruments conveys the amount of scientific activity associated with the Moon over time.

Here’s a breakdown of the individual instruments:

  • Pitch of the string and brass = scientific activity
  • Percussion instruments = passage of time
  • Clock ticking = months
  • Snare drum = years
  • Bass drum = decades
  • Cymbals = launches


Data compiled by NASA using Google Scholar. Each year’s data represents the number of articles, citations and patents dated in that year and returned by Google Scholar when applying a certain set of keywords.
Credits: SYSTEM Sounds/Matt Russo and Andrew Santaguida


Listen to the NASA Explorers: Apollo Soundtrack 

The musicians for NASA Explorers: Apollo took inspiration from science fiction, Apollo audio from the NASA archives and the excitement surrounding NASA’s upcoming human exploration of the Moon with the Artemis program.

[Source : NASA Explorers : Apollo]
[Image credit : NASA/Stephanie Zeller]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *