NASA Records Sound Of Mars' 'Really Unworldly' Wind For The First Time


According to Vox, this is the first time in history that humans have ever heard sound from the Red Planet.

The sounds released include data from InSight's seismometer of vibrations caused by wind moving over the lander's solar panels and from the lander's air presser sensor. NASA shared two copies of the wind recording, one as it was captured and another adjusted for playback on phones and laptops. The air pressure sensor recorded the vibrations directly from changes in the air.

This is the only time when vibrations from the lander will be recorded by the seismometer, since it will be moved by the craft's robotic armed and placed on the Martian surface, along with other instruments.

'It is just incredible to hear the first ever sounds from Mars'.

Reaction: "Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", said Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in a statement. In a few weeks, InSight's arm will set the measuring device on the surface of Mars. Below is what InSight's weather station recorded - specifically the low-frequency infrasound detected by its atmospheric pressure sensor.

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"The arm will use its Instrument Deployment Camera, located on its elbow, to take photos of the terrain in front of the lander", NASA writes.

The "really unworldly" sounds from InSight, meanwhile, have Banerdt imaging he's "on a planet that's in some ways like the Earth, but in some ways really alien". The team is itching to deploy the seismometer and its protective cover, with the air pressure sensor nestled inside of that shield. For now, it is recording wind data that scientists will later be able to cancel out of data from the surface, allowing them to separate "noise" from actual Marsquakes. It's like InSight is cupping its ears and hearing the Mars wind beating on it.

We know what Mars looks like, but there's a lot of mystery around what Mars sounds like. "It just gives another way of thinking about how far away [we are when] we're getting these signals".