Author Archives: annekatherineb

Music in the Stars – The Final Frontier – Anne Katherine

The Carina Nebula, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope

The Carina Nebula, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemingway

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Music in the Stars – How To End a Research Project in 30 Days – Anne Katherine

Wrapping up a research project is harder than you my imagine. There is the letting go aspect, being  able to come to terms with what you have and allow that to be good enough, the emotional side, the melancholy feeling laying your work down in the archives of your computer after months or even years of hard work, and finally the joyful but hectic stretch to the finish line.

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Music in the Stars – Nervous Planning – Anne-Katherine

If you had asked me how my project was going on Tuesday around 8:30 in the morning you would not have received a confident answer. That morning it hit me; I have two weeks in December and two weeks in January to finish up Music in the Stars. Continue reading

Music in the Stars – An Eventful Week – Anne Katherine

I am currently in possession of a very exciting book, Interpreting Astronomical Spectra, by D. Emerson of the University of Edinburg. According to our wonderful librarian, Teacher Victoria, this book, an interlibrary loan from Penn State University, is worth almost $500. It really should be kept in a glass case in my dorm room and only browsed through with pristine gloves on.

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Music in the Stars – Back to the Basics – Anne Katherine


On Monday of this week after struggling to use music editing software I made the important decision to do something almost unheard of in our modern world: I decided to transcribe on paper a bit of the sheet music I have produced. The result is shown to the left.

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Music in the Stars – Research Abstract – Anne Katherine

This is my working research abstract for my paper.

In this experiment the Lyman-alpha forest data of two quasars was used to create music. The music was used to learn about the quasars. Through a series of calculations Ly-a forest frequencies were transformed into sound frequencies. In the final score each piece of Ly-a data was used to create an individual music note. This technique proved to be effective, and interesting sound was produced. The properties of music are discussed. The analysis of the sound and the relationship between the data and sound patterns are discussed. Based on observations in this experiment, all Lyman-alpha forest can be translated into sound that qualifies as monotonic music.

Keywords: Lyman-alpha forest, music, composition, quasar, frequency

Music in the Stars – Revitalized Inspiration – Anne Katherine

To be perfectly honest, on Monday of this week I was feeling entirely uninspired. Yes, I was still fascinated by the work that I was doing, but felt at a loss for a next step in terms of composition. I did some valuable work on my paper but as working on a research paper is not the most exhilarating experience, Monday felt dry. Last week I sent an email to my music mentor, James Ra inquiring about what my next step should be in making the “computer music” that I currently have into something pleasant to listen to. While I have read music extensively, reading music and composing it are shockingly different. I was lost.

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Music in the Stars – Super Cool Science – Anne Katherine

This week has been fairly low key in terms of the work that I have done.  I have made leaps and bounds on my paper, recently focusing on the scientific difference between music and noise. An outcome of this research and writing, I have edited my thesis slightly to argue that the sound that I have produced is monotonic, meaning synthesized from a series of pure tones.  Continue reading

Music in the Stars – Communication – Anne Katherine

The amount of contact I had this week to the outside world in relation to my project was unusually high. When counted up, I sent over 40 emails to different contacts asking for help, advice, and wisdom in just three days; I have a feeling that this is some kind of record.  Continue reading