Categories: Solar System

The Workings of our Solar System Creates Beautiful Musical Palindrome

If you like math, music and space (separately or in any combination) you’re gonna love this. Musician Daniel Starr-Tambor has created a song by assigning each planet a note and speeding up the orbital periods of the planets where 2 seconds represents one Earth year, with a note playing for each orbit. But this isn’t just any typical song; it ends up being a musical palindrome, which means it can be played the same both forwards and backwards … that is, if you lived long enough to play to the end of the song. At the accelerated speeds of the Solar System, Starr-Tambor estimates it would continue without repetition for over 532.25 septendecillion years (5.3225 X 10 56). And with more than 62 vigintillion (6.2 X 10 64) individual notes, this composition, called “Mandala,” is the longest musical palindrome in existence.

Back in the 17th century composers like J.S. Bach created musical palindromes (mostly to show off!) and Starr-Tambor pays homage to Bach by choosing the precise position of the Solar System at the moment of Bach’s birth, viewed from the perspective of the Sun as it faces the constellation Libra, “so that each note chronicles his birthday on every planet.”

That’s just cool.

Hat tip: Brain Pickings

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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