NASA spacecraft captures 'unwordly' sound of wind on Mars

NASA spacecraft captures 'unwordly' sound of wind on Mars

"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.

Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said that capturing the sound waves on the red planet was unexpected and that its mission was dedicated to detecting the motion on Mars which also includes the motion caused by the sound waves.

Two sensors picked up the vibrations: an air pressure sensor inside the lander and a seismometer on the lander's deck, awaiting to be deployed to the surface by InSight's robotic arm.

Ever wondered what it sounds like to be on the surface of Mars? The equipment will gather vibrations from deep within the Red Planet. 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.

The noise is of the wind blowing against InSight's solar panels and the resulting vibration of the entire spacecraft. A seismometer will record marsquakes, a heat flow probe will measure how much heat is flowing out of Mars' interior and antennas will track the wobble of Mars' North Pole. NASA refers to the craft's task of learning about the planet's seismic waves as "taking the planet's pulse".

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There are more scheduled recordings to come from the surface of Mars.

NASA sent microphones to Mars on the Mars Polar Lander spacecraft in 1999, which crashed during its landing attempt, and on the Phoenix Mars lander; that instrument was left turned off, however, because it could have caused problems during landing.

The craft is still moving cautiously as a precaution during the first few weeks on Mars, similar how to people take time to get their bearings when they're in a new place.

The craft will also have an on board camera that will serve the extremely sci-fi goal of "detect the sound of the instrument's laser as it zaps different materials". "The success of these two unique missions is a tribute to the hundreds of talented engineers and scientists who put their genius and labour into making this a great day".

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