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LightSound device provides an eclipse experience for people with visual impairments

Barbara Endl
Dr. Barbara Endl builds a LightSound device at The University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists have created a device that can turn information into sound. Many blind or visually impaired individuals will use the LightSound device to hear the total solar eclipse in April.

Have you ever wondered what a solar eclipse sounds like?

Not the sudden chirps of crickets once the sun is blocked by the moon, but the sound of the eclipse itself?

Well, a group of scientists may have figured it out.


What you just heard is the result of a process called sonification, where data can be converted into sound.

In 2017, scientists from Harvard University developed the LightSound device to provide the blind and low vision community an opportunity to experience eclipses.

ENDL: “It’s a little detector that will buzz when you turn it on, but if you illuminate it more or less, it changes the pitch. So anybody will be able to experience the eclipse. They may not be able to fully see, but they will be able to hear it.”

Dr. Barbara Endl, Assistant Professor of Physics at Baylor University, has been preparing for the 2024 total solar eclipse for the last three years. In January, she helped to build 140 LightSound devices at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Eclipse Over Texas event in April hosted at Baylor will utilize the devices, giving blind or visually impaired individuals who attend, a chance to hear the eclipse.

ENDL: “I actually will have a few devices here at Baylor, so we will be able to connect to a speaker and then we will be able to hear that.”

To request a free LightSound device or to learn how to build your own, you can visit the project's website at