GAMMAPHONE: Astronomers at the Fermi Large Area Telescope have created music from the energy of a gamma-ray burst, pictured here in an artist's rendering. (Image: NASA Swift Ob
"In translating the gamma-ray measurements into musical notes, we assigned the photons to be 'played' by different instruments (harp, cello or piano) based on the probabilities that they came from the burst. ...In the beginning of the song, before the burst starts, the harp plucks out a few lonely notes. After about half a minute, the piano joins in on top of the harp background, and the notes begin to pile on more and more rapidly. The cello enters the scene as the burst begins in earnest."
"The top panel shows each individual gamma ray. The colors refer to low- (red), medium- (blue) and high- (green) quality gamma rays (played by harp, cello and piano, respectively). The energy of the gamma ray is on the y-axis (higher-energy gamma rays are toward the top of the plot) and the arrival time of the gamma ray is on the x-axis (later-arriving gamma rays are farther to the right). The vertical white line tells you where the music is currently playing. The bottom panel shows the number of gamma rays in each time slice."
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