Fiorella Terenzi is an Italian-born astrophysicist and composer currently based in the United States.  She earned her Ph.D in physics from the University of Milan, and studied music composition at the Conservatorio G. Verdi, also in Milan.  She is a pioneer of techniques to represent radio signals from galaxies as sound, and is perhaps best known for her CD Music from the Galaxies.

Fiorella pic1


Music from the Galaxies is an amazing CD featuring music based on radio signals from the galaxy UGC 6697, seen in the center of this image (  UGC 6697 is a member of the Leo Cluster of galaxies, which is located approximately 330 million light-years from Earth.  To create the music in Music from the Galaxies, Terenzi used computer processing techniques to transform radio telescope signals from UGC 6697 into the range of human hearing.  This technique of representing data through sound is known as sonification (, and allows us to in a sense “hear” the galaxy.

Fiorella pic2A YouTube video of a short selection from Music from the Galaxies can be found here (  The selection at first may sound more like noise than music.  However, if you listen closely, you might notice that the galactic sounds outline a sort of disjunct “space melody.”  Once you recognize the melody, try listening a little more closely, and you will find that the galactic sounds create rhythmic patterns as well.  As you listen, let your imagination run wild – after all, you are listening to sounds from a galaxy hundreds of millions of light years from Earth!

Sources and links for further information:

Fiorella Terenzi website:
Fiorella Terenzi on Wikipedia:


    You need to be logged in to leave a comment

    About AWB

    Astronomers Without Borders is a global astronomy community. Astronomy enthusiasts, educators, and others worldwide come together in programs based on our common interest in astronomy.

    Read More

    Get Involved

    Join Astronomers Without Borders worldwide astronomy community. Get the latest news and program updates, and take part. Join as an individual or affiliate group, or donate to become a sponsor or supporter.

    Read More

    Current Projects & Events

    AWB Monthly Hangouts

    Join AWB for regular Monthly Google+ Hangouts talking about our programs and ideas to make our world "One People, One Sky." We will publicize the events in our newsletter as well as our Twitter, Facebook and G+ feeds.
    Learn More

    Global Astronomy Month 2015

    Global Astronomy Month (GAM), organized each April by Astronomers Without Borders, is the world's largest global celebration of astronomy. GAM 2015 will bring new ideas and new opportunities, again bringing enthusiasts together worldwide to celebrate Astronomers Without Borders' motto One People, One Sky . See below for GAM programs and GAM-related news (coming soon). Some important dates are on the Program Schedule now, with n ew programs being added all the time.
    Learn More

    Social Media Updates