The art installation Sonic Planetarium is an audio model of the stuff in earth’s orbit, in real time. Sound files representing individual satellites play directionally across a speaker array as the actual objects pass far overhead, as if you can hear into space.
There are many, many spacecraft and pieces of debris in earth’s orbit, but because they are so far away and move so fast it is really hard or impossible for us to see them from our vantage point here on earth. What if we could hear into space—what if all of the stuff in earth’s orbit were making a sound which we could hear from earth? (That is, what if we could hear radio signals from satellites directly—of course sound itself doesn’t travel in the vacuum of space.) By crowdsourcing audio files recorded from satellite radio transmissions and from other sounds representing satellites, and associating these files with individual tracked orbiting objects, we can play these satellite sounds on a speaker installation as the actual satellites pass by. Sonic Planetarium strives to convey to visitors, as sound, what is relatively close in outer space, right now.