What is Audio Universe?
Audio Universe is a collection of tools and resources to support scientists, educators, students, and the general public to represent scientific data and concepts with sound (as well as with other senses). We do this to support: (1) scientific discovery; (2) engaging and immersive educational and communications content and; (3) increased accessibility to science. This work is underpinned by our research, which we publish in a variety of journals. Audio Universe is brought to you by scientists, from multiple institutes, who collaborate with members of the sight loss community, educators, students and others.
Nearly the entire Universe is invisible to the naked eye; so why not use senses beyond our sight to explore it, to enjoy it and to understand it?
Goals and Overview
We aim to help researchers uncover new insights in astronomical data by developing multi-sensory tools and methods. By using sound as well as visuals opens up huge potential to make new discoveries.
Outreach and Education
We aim to bring the wonders of the Universe to people at all levels in an accessible and engaging way, by developing multi-sensory outreach and educational resources.
For both our Research and our Outreach & Education work we have an underlying aim to bring the wonders of the Universe to people at all levels (from school pupils to academics) in an accessible way, with a focus for those who are blind, are visually impaired or have low vision.
Audio Universe: Working with partners
Hear from Audio Universe's Chris Harrison and teacher Rachel Lambert about the motivations for our Audio Universe project and how we are working with members of the community to develop our resources. This includes our flagship engagement project to date: an accessible sonification-based astronomy show. This 4 minute video was released with to celebrate winning an Engagement and Place Award at Newcastle University in 2022.
Prefer an audio-described version? Watch one here.
Audio Universe technical lead, James, introduces sonification
James Trayford, is interviewed as part of "Physics Chat" from the Field of View podcast, to explain our different motivations for turning data into sound and provides some examples from his sonification code STRAUSS. He then introduces his astronomy research on galaxy formation! 14 minute YouTube vide of this is here!
Find out more about our STRAUSS code.
Accessible education to the classroom and science centres
We are developing educational resources , which aim to improve accessibility. This includes making multi-sensory materials which are accessible by students and the general public who are blind or have low vision. These approaches have been shown to benefit other Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) students . We have produced classroom based activities, a planetarium show, and we are now developing resources for a science exhibition.
Find out more about our education and outreach pages.