“The Space Composer” – turning solar data into tunes

Here’s the latest episode of MOTHERBOARD Spaced Out series of space related video reports:


A classically trained composer transforms solar data into tunes
on VICE’s tech channel’s documentary series Spaced Out

NEW YORK, N.Y. (January 16, 2013) – MOTHERBOARD today premieres the latest in its Spaced Out series, The Space Composer, investigating the art of turning data from the sun into sound. Sonification specialist Robert Alexander takes us through the solar cycle as it rises and falls, using the solar data to create some of the most interesting and unique music to have ever graced the planet.

Watch past episodes of Spaced Out here:

Motherboard’s Spaced Out series is a 360-degree look at space and the people who love it, who explore it, who wonder about it.

Motherboard is an online magazine and video channel dedicated to the intersection of technology, science and humans. Launched by VICE in 2009, Motherboard raises its eyebrows at the people and things that are making our weird and wonderful present and future, with news, commentary, in-depth reporting, photos, and original video documentaries. Dipping liberally into politics, art, sex, drugs, war, design, nature, space, history and sci-fi, Motherboard skips the useless tech hype to keep its cascade of tabs open to the stuff you should know.

VICE was launched in 1994 as a ‘punk zine’ and has since expanded into a leading global youth media company with bureaus in over 30 countries. VICE operates the world’s premier original online video destination, VICE.COM, an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a magazine, a record label, an in-house creative services agency and a book-publishing division. VICE’s digital channels include The Creators Project, dedicated to the arts and creativity, Motherboard, covering cultural happenings in technology, and Noisey, a music discovery channel. To date, VICE boasts over 60 established shows that cover everything from current events to sex to investigative reporting to music to kittens.

Surveying futures for space

Sociologist William S. Bainbridge, author of The Spaceflight Revolution and Goals in Space), needs input from space enthusiasts for his latest study. He is asking space blogs to post the following announcement about two apps available at Surveyor II (Android Apps).

Surveyor II: Space Futures:

We invite you to have a voice in defining the future of space exploration! Can you predict the future of space exploration, fifty years in the future? Our other online questionnaire, Space Opinions, asks people what the space program means to them today. This one, Space Futures, asks you to imagine the possibilities for tomorrow!

100 predictions about the future were drawn from earlier open-ended online surveys and NASA reports. Think forward FIFTY YEARS and decide how likely it is each one will actually happen during that period (on a scale of 1=very unlikely to 8=very likely), and how good it would be if it did (on a scale from 1=very bad to 8=very good). Send your judgments to us, and we will send you confidential feedback on how your own views compare with others. The combined results of this Space Futures survey and the Space Opinions survey will be published online very quickly to help guide leaders of the world’s space programs, governments, aerospace industries, and young people studying related areas of science and engineering.

This is not a random-sample public opinion survey, but a scientific questionnaire study designed to understand how a range of possibilities fit together in the minds of a variety of people. For example, statistical analysis can identify underlying values reflected in different future possibilities, and tell us how optimists and pessimists conceptualize the issues differently. It was designed by Dr. William Sims Bainbridge, a prominent social scientist who pioneered this approach in his book, Goals in Space, and in his textbook, Survey Research: A Computer-Assisted Introduction.

We invite you to think forward FIFTY YEARS, and have a voice in defining the future direction of space exploration.

Citizen scientists to analyze the surface of Mars

Planet Four is a citizen science project from Zooniverse, which is accumulating a plethoria of projects for public participation:  Scientists need you to analyze unseen images of Mars – Gizmag (via Behind The Black).

Planet Four invites you

to help planetary scientists identify and measure features on the surface of Mars . . . the likes of which don’t exist on Earth. All of the images on this site depict the southern polar region, an area of Mars that we know little about, and the majority of which have never been seen by human eyes before!

The goal is

to find and mark ‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ on the Martian surface. Scientists believe that these features indicate wind direction and speed. By tracking ‘fans’ and ‘blotches’ over the course of several Martian years to see how they form, evolve, disappear and reform, we can help planetary scientists better understand Mars’ climate. We also hope to find out if these features form in the same spot each year and also learn how they change.

The images come from the NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, which has been circling the Red Planet since 2006 and sending back a continuous stream of images of the surface with its high resolution camera.

time-lapse[1]These timelapse images show a sequence of views of a spider terrain feature that’s
initially covered with about a meter ice (upper left) until it is ice-free (lower right).


Space policy in US and Russia

A couple of space policy items from Jeff Foust:

And some Russian space policy items:


Everyone can participate in space