NASA's Insight lander records wind heard on Mars

NASA's Insight lander records wind heard on Mars

"It's going to become very hard to hear the sounds from the outside of Mars later on". NASA's InSight lander, which touched down on the Red Planet in late November, is giving us new insights into the sounds created by the planet's winds. The very first time that humans have heard the sounds of the winds on Mars! That means they are well-placed to capture noises around and onboard the lander, including the sound of the wind blowing across InSight's solar arrays.

"InSight sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 25 miles per hour (5 to 7 meters a second) on December 1, from northwest to southeast", the agency said.

InSight's seismometer and another sensor picked up the noise, and it was not planned. The seismometer will be moved to the Martian surface in the coming weeks. 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.

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.

Image from NASA's InSight showing the surface of Mars.

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"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said. We've examined Mars' atmosphere with landers and rovers and satellites. The sounds were recorded by an air pressure sensor inside the lander that is part of a weather station, as well as the seismometer on the deck of the spacecraft.

"Humans are multisensor people, and now we have two of our sensors turned on with this mission", with both audio and visual data streaming back to Earth, Don Banfield, the science lead for the air pressure sensor, said during the news conference. One has been included specifically to record the sound of a Martian landing for the first time. The robot has a lot of work ahead of it, but things always start slowly when you're handling a machine remotely from another planet.

"It's a little like a flag waving in the wind", he added.

Keep watching for more to come from InSight!

"It's a really distant rumble that we're hearing", Pike said.

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