Arts, Culture & Media

Bach on Mars

Sit down this professor from England and he'll tell you something has been missing from space exploration: almost all the space probes sent out have not been equipped with microphones, so we don't know what other planets sound like. This Louisiana physics professor shared that frustration and curiosity. They asked themselves what the human voice and music would sound like on other planets? Now this would be a difficult experiment to conduct in reality but easy to simulate if you knew something about the atmospheres of other planets. So they held an imaginary concert with a pipe organ and some Bach. The professors then simulated what the recording might sound like on Mars, considering how the Martian air would sound vibrating through the organ's pipes and what it would sound like being transmitted to an audience. It doesn't sound all that different, but if you started walking away from the organ on Mars, you'd notice a big difference: the volume would drop off quickly, just a short distance away because so atmosphere would soak up the sound. They also simulated the concert on Venus supposing that the organ could withstand the concert being on Venus. The professor insists this has some practical applications.

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