in ITP Projects

Thesis Book 2012

My submission to ITP’s Thesis Book

Listening to the Sun

Realtime scientific data acquisition and visualization for makers, artists, citizen scientists, and other curious types via an exploration of space from Earth.

Listening to the Sun is an experiment in making real science accessible to curious types through affordable DIY technologies. By repurposing easy to find and often freely discarded consumer electronics and other materials, it is possible to create tools that enable the exploration of our atmosphere and outer space without ever leaving Earth. Coupling these tools with computers, open source software, and hardware, allows for real time data acquisition and visualization.

Listening to the Sun is a two part endeavor: a website and a visualization piece. The website,, is an information portal containing detailed build instructions and tutorials for several DIY radio astronomy projects, as well as an explanation of the science behind the technologies and links to further resources. The visualization piece, Aurora, is an example of a real time visualization of radio astronomy data. The piece is a projection of the electromagnetic pollution in New York City made to mimic the Aurora Borealis.


  • Education/Learning (Primary)
  • Data Visualization
  • Physical Computing
  • Sound/Audio
  • Web

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