Listen to the Beautiful Sounds of NASA Discovering Over 5,000 Exoplanets Since 1992

Listen to the Beautiful Music of NASA Discovering Over 5,000 Exoplanets Since 1991

Illustrations of what exoplanets may look like. (Photo: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

When Star Trek referred to space as the final frontier for the first time in 1966, the shows creators, cast, and viewers had no true conception of just how much lay out in the universe, waiting to be discovered. Our solar system—filled with eight planets and Pluto—defined the known range of planets. However, since 1992, advancing telescope technology has allowed NASA and astronomers around the world to discover exoplanets outside of our system. NASA recently announced 5,005 of these celestial bodies have been discovered. They released a commemorative and beautiful sonification of the rapid pace of discovery over the past three decades.

Exoplanets are planets outside our solar system. They fall into several categories, including gas giants like Jupiter. Planets like Earth are terrestrial. Others are classed as “super-Earths.” This mysterious group is not represented among our familiar planets. The first exoplanets were discovered around a neutron star. By recording pulses of light from the star, scientists were able to determine that planets were orbiting the star, routinely blocking its light. Now, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), launched in 2018, continues this quest. The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, expected to launch in 2027, will join the mission. Meanwhile, a European spacecraft is investigating exoplanet atmospheres to learn more about these new worlds.

In celebration of the tremendous milestone of 5,000 exoplanets, NASA created a sonification of their discovery. This video shows the location of the exoplanets discovered each year with melodic tones. The music created is not a tune, but rather an acoustic rendition of human progress in space exploration. Scroll down to hear humanity's entry into the final frontier accelerate over 30 years, becoming an exciting crescendo of possibility.

Since 1992, NASA and astronomers around the world have discovered 5,000 exoplanets.

Listen to the Beautiful Music of NASA Discovering Over 5,000 Exoplanets Since 1991

The 5,00 exoplanets discovered so far are categorized into different types. (Photo: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Exoplanets are planets beyond our solar system. There are billions more waiting to be discovered in the vast reaches of the universe.

NASA has created a beautiful, commemorative sonification of the rapidly accelerating pace of discovery.

h/t: [IFL Science, Mashable]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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