Listen to 50 Years of Lunar Exploration
25 June 2019


Credit: SYSTEM Sounds

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, SYSTEM Sounds was invited by NASA to convey the scientific legacy of the Apollo mission through sound.


SYSTEM Sounds is a science-art outreach project that translates the rhythm and harmony of the cosmos by creating videos, interactive applications, and public exhibits that inspire, educate, and make astronomy more accessible to the visually impaired. 


In this special musical piece, Giant Leaps - Apollo Program Sonification, the note pitches indicate the amount of scientific activity associated with Apollo and with NASA’s subsequent missions to explore the moon. Higher pitches indicate greater numbers of articles, citations, and patents associated with certain keywords. The passage of time is creatively depicted by percussion instruments: clock ticks represent months, snare drums represent years, bass drums represent decades and cymbal crashes signify rocket launches.


This sonification and video is featured as part of the NASA Explorers: Apollo audio series.


SYSTEM Sounds aligns with the mission of the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) to use astronomy to promote societal benefits. It has been funded twice by the IAU under the OAD annual call for proposals.


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IAU100 Global Partners

This website is dedicated to the IAU100's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in July 2019.