Radio Astronomy is an art and science project which broadcasts sounds intercepted from space live on the internet and on the airwaves. The project is a collaboration between r a d i o q u a l i a, and radio telescopes located throughout the world. Together we are creating ‘radio astronomy’ in the literal sense – a radio station devoted to broadcasting audio from our cosmos.

Radio Astronomy has three parts:
– a sound installation
– a live on-air radio transmission
– a live online radio broadcast

Listeners will hear the acoustic output of radio telescopes live. The content of the live transmission will depend on the objects being observed by partner telescopes. On any given occasion listeners may hear the planet Jupiter and its interaction with its moons, radiation from the Sun, activity from far-off pulsars or other astronomical phenomena.

Broadcasting Sounds from Space

Radio Astronomy correlates the processes associated with broadcast radio – the transmission of audible information, and the processes of radio astronomy – the observation and analysis of radiated signals from planets, stars and other astrophysical objects. The work synthesizes these two areas. The signals from planets and stars are converted into audio and then broadcast on-line and on-air. The project is a literal interpretation of the term, ³radio astronomy². It is a radio station broadcasting audio from space.

r a d i o q u a l i a consider radio telescopes to be radio receivers, which are listening to radio signals being transmitted from planets and stars. Thinking of radio in this way radically enlarges the concept.Radio Astronomy is located within this expanded field of radio.

Many of the sounds emitted by these objects are fascinating from both an aesthetic and conceptual perspective, prompting comparisons with avant-garde music and electronic sound art. Yet very few people have heard these sounds, considering space to be silent, rather than the rich acoustic environment it turns out to be.

Listening To Space