Solar System Sonification: Exploring Earth and its Neighbors Through Sound
Tomlinson, Brianna J.
Winters, R. Michael
Walker, Bruce N.
MetadataShow full item record
Informal learning environments (ILEs) like museums incorporate multi-modal displays into their exhibits as a way to engage a wider group of visitors, often relying on tactile, audio, and visual means to accomplish this. Planetariums, however, represent one type of ILE where a single, highly visual presentation modality is used to entertain, inform, and engage a large group of users in a passive viewing experience. Recently, auditory displays have been used as a supplement or even an alternative to visual presentation of astronomy concepts, though there has been little evaluation of those displays. Here, we designed an auditory model of the solar system and created a planetarium show, which was later presented at a local science center. Attendees evaluated the performance on helpfulness, interest, pleasantness, understandability, and relatability of the sounds mappings. Overall, attendees rated the solar system and planetary details very highly, in addition to providing open-ended responses about their entire experience.