Georgia Tech Sonification Lab
School of Psychology - Georgia Institute of Technology

Solar Eclipse 2024 Accessible Resources


The Georgia Tech Sonification Lab has developed accessible maps, a VR demo, and soundtrack + sonification for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse.

On April 8th, 2024, a total solar eclipse Decorative will be visible for a large portion of North America, moving in a northeast trajectory across Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The path of totality, meaning place where people will be able to experience the effect of the moon completely blocking the sun, will include U.S. cities like San Antonio, Dallas, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Buffalo. During the period of totality, the anticipated effect is a darkening of the sky comparable to dawn or dusk.

However, not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent total solar eclipse due to either geographical constraints or visual and auditory limitations. Thus, we have launched a project to make it more accessible for people to experience the solar eclipse and to learn more about how the environment and animals react during the process. Our project has several classes of components:

  1. accessible audio+visual maps of two different types ("push" maps and "pull" maps);
  2. a virtual reality (VR) simulation with educational and immersive features; and
  3. a soundscape to play along with the real-time total solar eclipse.

Each piece of our project is tailored to highlight different aspects of the eclipse, for deeper understanding and enjoyment of this astronomical event. See details and links, below.

This project builds on a very successful eclipse sonification in 2017, and weaves together astronomy with geography, music, sonification, environmental science, and game elements. It provides a unique opportunity for learners worldwide to understand the mechanics of solar eclipses and their effects on the natural world, making it a valuable resource for educators and students across diverse international settings. We emphasize novel uses of sound in all our components, and explore innovations in accessible multimodal maps.


Accessible Audio+Visual Maps: "Push" Style Map

We have created a web-based presentation of the total solar eclipse's path of totality, including a visual projection of the United States; plus paths and points associated with the data; a narrative audio guide to understand the path; and a sonification of the actual path of totality. By ensuring that the entire playback remains compact and brisk, we keep the interest of our listeners. The short format also makes this multimodal map a convenient option for use in an educational setting. This digital material can also be referenced before or even well after the event has passed, because it will remain relevant as a way to present a total solar eclipse. Direct link to the Accessible Audio map YouTube video. Note that you will want to use headphones, earbuds, or stereo speakers to take advantage of the left-to-right stereo audio.

Lead Designer and Developer: Auralee Walmer |

Click the YouTube player below to play the Accessible Map. Use headphones or speakers for best results.

Eclipse Data, Path of Totality (only trajectory, coordinates subsampled to 329 rows ~ 9% of original data)
Eclipse Data, Other Elements (extreme coordinates, major cities, start/end points, horizontal and vertical lines that are the "triangle" sides)
Eclipse Map Mock Up (a way to visualize the data above, pre-customization and animation for narrated playback)


Accessible Audio+Visual Maps: "Pull" Style Audiom Map

The Audiom system has been developed by XRNavigation to support visual and audio presentation of geospatial data in an accessible user-driven ("pull") format. We created an Audiom map of the 2024 solar eclipse using the same path data from NASA. The map starts the user in Texas, where the path of totality "enters" the USA; from there, keyboard commands allow for step-by-step exploration of Texas and the rest of the USA. Direct link to the Audiom map (may work best in the Chrome browser).

Lead Designer and Developer: Brandon Biggs |

Click the image below to launch the Audiom Map (best in Chrome browser).
Screen capture of Audiom map showing the USA with the path of the 2024 solar eclipse and regions of partial totality superimposed


Sonification and Soundtrack for the Solar Eclipse

We created a dramatic soundtrack that communicates the majesty of the solar eclipse event, along with embedded audio elements that represent the acoustic and other natural phenomena that accompany the eclipse. For example, as darkness falls, many animals become quiet at the "false dusk", and then resume their activities and sounds when the light returns, as if it is a new dawn.

Lead Designer: Nicolette Cash

Here is the direct link to the WAV file of the stand-alone soundtrack. And below is the YouTube video of the soundtrack.

Click the YouTube player below to play the Solar Eclipse Soundtrack Video.


Virtual Reality (VR) Experience / Simulation of the Eclipse (includes Soundtrack)

We have a multimodal virtual reality (VR) simulation of the eclipse, as viewed from a specific urban location. The simulation includes changing light levels, animal behaviors, and auditory changes in nature. It also includes the powerful soundtrack that conveys the excitement and wonder of the eclipse.

The immersive 3D VR experience for use with the Meta Quest family of VR headsets is an APK file that can be downloaded and installed on your device.
      Meta Quest APK: Solar Eclipse 2024 VR 1.apk

Designers: Wendy Yin, TeAiris Majors, Nicolette Cash

Click the YouTube player below to play the Solar Eclipse VR Demo Video.

The 2D iPhone application version can also be accessed without the need for a VR headset. You can download the app onto your iPhone and virtually experience the eclipse from the location of Rochester, NY. While the eclipse slowly approaches, occurs, then passes, you can look and move around the town, see how the light levels change, see how animals respond, learn facts about the eclipse, and hear the powerful soundtrack.

The iPhone app is available for free in the Apple App Store, at the link below:
iPhone App (called Solar Eclipse 2024 Mobile):

Below we have a YouTube video that provides an overview of the VR experience.

Designers: Wendy Yin, TeAiris Majors, Nicolette Cash

Click the YouTube player below to play the Solar Eclipse iPhone App Demo Video.


NASA Data and Other Resources

NASA Data Repository



Auralee (Aura) Walmer | |
Brandon Biggs | |
Nicolette Cash |
Wendy Yin |
TeAiris Majors |
Prof. Bruce N. Walker | | Bruce N. Walker web page



Contact Us:

Georgia Tech Sonification Lab
Bruce Walker