Sonifying the Solar System
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Sound is potentially an effective way of analysing data and it is possible to simultaneously interpret layers of sounds and identify changes. Multiple attempts to use sound with scientific data have been made, with varying levels of success. On many occasions this was done without including the end user during the development. In this study a sonified model of the 8 planets of our solar system was built and tested using an end user approach. The sonification was created for the Esplora Planetarium, which is currently being constructed in Malta. The data requirements were gathered from a member of the planetarium staff, and 12 end users, as well as the planetarium representative tested the sonification. The results suggest that listeners were able to discern various planetary characteristics without requiring any additional information. Three out of eight sound design parameters did not represent characteristics successfully. These issues have been identified and further development will be conducted in order to improve the model.