Over the last ten years there has been a large increase in the number of projects using sound to represent astronomical data and concepts.
Motivation for these projects includes the potential to enhance scientific discovery within complex datasets, by utilising the inherent multi-dimensionality of sound and the ability of our hearing to filter signals from noise. Other motivations include creating engaging multi-sensory resources, for education and public engagement, and making astronomy more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, promoting their participation in science and related careers.

We describe potential benefits of sound within these contexts and provide an overview of the nearly 100 sound-based astronomy projects that we identified. We discuss current limitations and challenges of the approaches taken. Finally, we suggest future directions to help realise the full potential of sound-based techniques in general and to widen their application within the astronomy community.

Comments: Accepted for publication in Nature Astronomy. A Word document (more accessible with screen readers) is available under ‘ancillary files’. This is the author’s own version (it is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections). The Version of Record will be available with doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-022-01721-z

A. Zanella (INAF), C.M. Harrison (Newcastle University), S. Lenzi (Center for Design, Northeastern University), J. Cooke (Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing and ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery), P. Damsma (Sonokids Australia), S.W. Fleming (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Physics Education (physics.ed-ph); Physics and Society (physics.soc-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:2206.13536 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2206.13536v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Christopher Harrison
[v1] Mon, 27 Jun 2022 18:00:04 UTC (3,376 KB)