in honor of my birthday (i'd like to think ;) today's astronomy picture of the day is a musically based supernova sonata, created by alex parker, a PhD candidate at the university of victoria in british columbia.
to create the sonata, the team utilized the fact that the canada france hawaii telescope (CFHT) watched 4 different regions of sky from 2003 to 2006 looking for exploding white dwarf stars, more commonly known as supernovae!
each supernova explosion is marked on the images in the video and sounds are assigned based on physical properties of each supernova: louder notes are for closer explosions, pitch is determined by how the particular explosion brightens and fades, and the instrument is chosen based on the mass of the galaxy in which the exploding star lives. notes for massive galaxies are played on a double bass (standup bass, upright bass, contrabass, whatever you want to call it...), while notes of less massive galaxies are played on a grand piano.
you can read more at the vimeo link below the video!