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Talk by Clara Brasseur, University of St Andrews

Sonification is the process of representing data as sound. Rather than looking at a chart or graph, the underlying information can be transformed into audio and analysed by listening. This technique offers exciting new ways for scientists to study data, and provides blind and low-vision people a new level of data access and analysis. In this talk I present Astronify, a tool for sonifying data from NASA missions. I will discuss how Astronify converts measurements of a star’s changes in brightness to changes in pitch, and then invite the audience test their own ears and see how well they can hear and identify transiting exoplanets and stellar flares in real data from the Kepler Space Telescope.

Clara Brasseur is currently a PhD student studying with Prof. Moira Jardine at the University of St Andrews. Their research focusses on the magnetic fields of cool stars, specifically radio signatures of stellar prominences. In addition to stellar astronomy, Clara is a dedicated astronomical software developer with a particular interest in astronomical data sonification.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI