[NetBehaviour] Interpretation of Blazar Flux Variations as Music.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Jan 25 23:24:03 CET 2007

Interpretation of Blazar Flux Variations as Music.

Dr. James R. Webb
Department of Physics
Florida International University.

Blazars are believed to be distant galaxies in the process of formation. 
They emit electromagnetic radiation (light) over the entire 
electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to gamma-rays. The emission 
varies with time in most frequency ranges and the causes for the 
variation are yet to be adequately explained. Astronomers have been 
monitoring these objects with optical telescopes for over 50 years now 
and we have collected a large database of brightnesses over these fifty 

This paper presents some of these light curves, and adopts a 
computational method to translate the brightness fluctuations into 
musical tones. These tones are then converted to sound using a midi 
synthesizer on a PC.

The music you are hearing is the converted light curve from Active 
Galactic Nucleus 3C 120. This source is extremely energetic and variable 
and is located about 1 billion parsecs from Earth.


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