Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

The sound of Mars

InSight is designed to study the interior of Mars like never before using seismology instruments to detect quakes and a self-hammering mole to measure heat escape from the planet's crust The sound of Mars
Theresa Hayes | 08 December, 2018, 01:52

We've never before been able to HEAR the sounds of the wind on Mars, though. Wow!

The wind is estimated to be blowing at between 10 and 15mph.

InSight landed on Mars on November 26. "These images will help mission team members determine where to set InSight's seismometer and heat flow probe - the only instruments ever to be robotically placed on the surface of another planet".

"Hearing the first sounds ever recorded on the surface of another planet is a privilege". NASA shared two copies of the wind recording, one as it was captured and another adjusted for playback on phones and laptops.

NASA's new Mars lander has captured the first sounds of the "really unworldly" Martian wind. You may need to put on earphones or crank up your subwoofer to hear what's going on in the first video, which is made up of raw data from the seismometer.

An air pressure sensor and a seismometer recorded the noise through the vibrations in the air and vibrations around the aircraft "caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft's solar panels".

InSight's seismometer and another sensor picked up the noise, and it was not planned.

The craft's air pressure sensor recorded the winds as well, according to NASA, and that audio is increased by a factor of 100 so that it's audible.

NASA increased the pitch of the audio by two octaves for those who couldn't hear the original, and for those listening on a laptop or a phone.

"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", Bruce Banerdt, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press release.

It's been less than two weeks since InSight touched down on the surface of the Red Planet, but it is already sending back unbelievable things for us to marvel at. As new Science Minister I am excited to see what more we can achieve on land and in outer space.

'The solar panels on the lander's sides are ideal acoustic receivers, ' Prof Pike said.

InSight will act as a giant ear on Mars that will measure any sound or pressure fluctuations of the wind, earthquakes, tectonic movement or volcanism. It will also record the sound of the instrument's laser as it zaps different materials, helping to identify the material based on the sound it makes.