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Solar Beat
March 29, 2010 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Our Solar System as Music Box. Speed it up to hurry pluto along, or slow it down to make it a sweet lullaby to contemplate the heavens with.
posted by snsranch (38 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
via: Bifurcated Rivets
posted by snsranch at 6:54 PM on March 29, 2010


All that waiting for Pluto, and it just goes "ding". With how long it takes to get there they could have made it a climactic cymbal crash or something.
posted by idiopath at 7:00 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love this--thanks, snsranch.
posted by box at 7:03 PM on March 29, 2010


Pony request: Superman toggle to reverse the play!
posted by phunniemee at 7:05 PM on March 29, 2010


Like it lots...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 7:18 PM on March 29, 2010


It would been nice to make the orbits correct (i.e., not circular). But that can be left as an exercise for the viewer.
posted by lukemeister at 7:32 PM on March 29, 2010


Holy crap, that's awesome.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:34 PM on March 29, 2010


mmm...pretty...
posted by sexyrobot at 7:41 PM on March 29, 2010


Needs more comet.
posted by Jimbob at 7:53 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


See also: Chromatic, which sounds strangely like a 16-bit horror video game soundtrack.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:55 PM on March 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


....It reminded me of the music from the SOLARIS remake, for some reason.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:55 PM on March 29, 2010


Ooh, Chromatic is neat too. For some reason, the sounds make me think of Goblin doing a score to Qix.
posted by box at 8:02 PM on March 29, 2010


Nice, thanks!
posted by carter at 8:07 PM on March 29, 2010


That's simply spectacular.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 8:25 PM on March 29, 2010


Made me realize how short our are lives really are.
In the time I have been alive on the earth, Saturn has made just over one revolution.
posted by ShawnString at 8:29 PM on March 29, 2010


What's Pluto doing on there with all those planets?
posted by bowline at 8:55 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


I have to admit that I didn't know about Ceres until this.

A couple of days ago I got to look at the Orion Nebula through a .9 meter telescope and that was pretty awesome. I also got to see Saturn on a much smaller telescope and that was awesome too.
posted by peeedro at 9:18 PM on March 29, 2010


I was really hoping that when pluto came around, it'd play the v'ger sound. Too bad.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:28 PM on March 29, 2010


Yeah, really nice site and nice idea. Thanks, sns!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:28 PM on March 29, 2010


What I'd like to see added to this site:

1. make the scale customizable, with the ability to choose your own notes for each planet
2. enable a reverse function, so you could toggle back and forth between forward & reverse
3. enable a mute function for each planet
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:35 PM on March 29, 2010


awesome. thanks snsranch.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:20 PM on March 29, 2010


This is a things which is delightful. Music of the spheres indeed.
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y at 11:00 PM on March 29, 2010


I love how very occasionally you get a chord.

/simplepleasures
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y at 11:02 PM on March 29, 2010


I never realized Pluto's orbital period was so long; this really helped me to visualize it. Wikipedia says it's over 248 Earth years. Hmmm...

Pluto was discovered in 1930. That was only 80 years ago. In other words, the entirety of the time that humanity has been watching Pluto, we have not even seen it complete one third of one trip around the sun.

I'm sure the astronomers have very complex and accurate math that tells them, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Pluto is orbiting the sun, and they have its complete course mapped out in fine computer-simulated detail. But part of me marvels at the whole thing, that we could be so confident about what this single, insignificant space rock is doing, when we've only observed the tiniest portion of its trajectory from our vantage point at a distance of about five billion kilometers away. Astronomy is mind-boggling sometimes.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:16 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


      I love how very occasionally you get a chord.

Yes! it's like wandering in a crowded train station, totally chaotic, except every once in a while half the room kicks up a leg in unison. Also this guy's music is actually pretty good.
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 11:46 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fantastic... and hypnotic
posted by lbf at 11:51 PM on March 29, 2010


Yes, but does it sound as good as the Holywelkin Orchestra?
posted by Joe Chip at 12:08 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Awesome! I just wish I could create my own scale for the planets. These music-boxy or quick-loop programs on the internet always have the same boring crap pentatonic friendly-sounding scales!
posted by ReeMonster at 12:20 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


@Joe Chip

I never met anyone who has read A Memory of Whiteness. It's worth it, actually. Even though the plot is so comically convoluted that it is impossible to remember how you got there by the time you arrive at the final page. /dr

As others have said the music box really could do with some functions to extend its longevity. That said, it is fun while it lasts.
posted by howfar at 2:47 AM on March 30, 2010


Actually, this reminded me somewhat of some of the mechanics of the Nintendo game Electroplankton. Still like it though.
posted by Chocomog at 6:19 AM on March 30, 2010


Wow... this is something which would have left Galileo or Newton dumbstruck to see and we have made it an application which people can look at and play with for ninety seconds before moving on. It makes me curious to imagine what will be minor entertainment for our descendants in another three or four centuries.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:06 AM on March 30, 2010


How long to I have to listen to this before I hear all 10 ding at the same time?
posted by scottatdrake at 9:21 AM on March 30, 2010


How long to I have to listen to this before I hear all 10 ding at the same time?

Good question.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:36 AM on March 30, 2010


scottatdrake: "How long to I have to listen to this before I hear all 10 ding at the same time?"

Since they planets do not change in speed (apart from the master speed control) the way to get that number would be to have the durations of each of the orbits with a given speed control setting, and then the first unison lineup at that setting would be the lowest common multiple of all the durations.
posted by idiopath at 9:59 AM on March 30, 2010


As long as we're making feature requests, I'd love to see an option to run it at actual speed.
posted by box at 10:10 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Music for Spaceports.
Someone alert Brian Eno.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2010


Disappointed by the imperfect 2:3 resonance of Neptune and Pluto. After all that time, I was expecting something nice and concordant (and simultaneous).
posted by Eideteker at 1:30 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This reminds me so much of an art project I saw presented in some TED-like venue awhile ago. Or maybe it was just a website. Either way, small objects (maybe lines?) in orbit played notes when passing over the horizon.

Anyone else reminded of something similar?
posted by isnotchicago at 6:50 AM on April 5, 2010


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