The orbits of Jupiter’s Galilean moons transform from rhythms to notes as their motion is sped up from 30 thousand to 250 million times their actual speed. This corresponds to 15 to 28 octaves above their actual frequencies and as they begin orbiting faster than 20 times per second (20 Hz), the repetitive beat morphs into sustained musical harmony. This demonstrates that rhythm and pitch are the same thing, perceived at different speeds.
The inner three moons Io, Europa, and Ganymede are locked in a 4:2:1 orbital resonance which means that they play the same note but in different octaves.
Callisto and Ganymede are nearly in a 12:5 resonance and the notes they create are close to an octave and a minor 3rd apart.
The crazy geometric patterns are a type of optical illusion called aliasing (or the wagon wheel or stroboscopic effect) which occurs when the moons orbit too fast to be represented by the limited frame rate. As time is sped up the inner three moons lock into their shapes together due to the simple relationship between their orbits.
Our solar system is awesome.
By system-sounds.com created by Matt Russo, Andrew Santaguida, and Dan Tamayo