We've been surrounded by images of space our whole lives, from the speculative images of science fiction to the inspirational visions of artists to the increasingly beautiful pictures made possible by complex technologies. But whilst we have an overwhelmingly vivid visual understanding of space, we have no sense of what space sounds like.
Radio astronomy reflects our fascination with how audio can be used to understand information or ideas. Just as scientists visualize data through charts and pictures, we can use 'data sonification' to translate radio signals into sound that help us better understand some of our most enigmatic planetary systems.
Radio astronomers study radio waves from space using sensitive antennas and receivers, which give them precise information about what an astronomical object is and where it is in our night sky. And just like the signals that we send and receive here on Earth, we can convert these transmissions into sound using simple analog techniques.