ALMA Music Box: Listen to the Music of a Dying Star

ALMA Music Box: Listen to the Music of a Dying Star

27 October, 2015 / Read time: 2 minutes

Music from the ALMA Music Box —an audio artwork that plays melodies created from ALMA observations— is now available to be purchased in the iTunes store, on the compilation CD “Music for a Dying Star”.

R Sculptoris, a massive red giant star located roughly 1000 light-years away in the constellation of Sculptor, is in the final stages of its life, and is violently expelling massive amounts of gas into space as it depletes its supply of fuel.

The ALMA Music Box plays musical discs inscribed with information from ALMA’s observations of this dying star, based on images taken at 70 different radio frequencies. The Music Box, a collaboration between the National Astronomical Observatory of JapanPARTY New York and Qosmo, plays 70 musical discs, each corresponding to a different radio frequency observation. The discs feature holes corresponding to points of intensity in the emission.

The ALMA Music Box will be on display at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan until 15 November 2015. The exhibition also features a miniature model of a Japanese 12-meter ALMA antenna and two receiver cartridges, which are installed into the antennas to receive radio waves.

The exhibition’s success recently prompted the production of the crowd-funded compilation CD “Music for a Dying Star”. This CD features an assortment of melodies from the box integrated into original tracks from 11 international artists, including Taeji Sawai, Takagi Masakatsu, Throwing a Spoon, and Christian Fennesz.

“Music for a Dying Star” can now be purchased in the iTunes storefor 14.88 euros. More information about the ALMA Music Box and the CD is available on the CD’s dedicated website.

More information

ALMA, an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.



Valeria Foncea

Education and Public Outreach Officer
Joint ALMA Observatory
Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 467 6258
Cell: +56 9 75871963
Email: [email protected]

Masaaki Hiramatsu

Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 422 34 3630
E-mail: [email protected]

Charles E. Blue
Public Information Officer
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Tel: +1 434 296 0314
Cell: +1 434.242.9559
E-mail: [email protected]

Richard Hook
Public Information Officer, ESO
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
Email: [email protected]