Sounds of Mars wind captured by Nasa's InSight lander

08 December, 2018, 22:26 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • 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

NASA's InSight lander, which touched down on Mars last month, has provided the first-ever "sounds" of Martian wind on the Red Planet. According to the Tweet, sensors in InSight's seismometer and weather instrument captured vibrations from martian wind hitting the lander on December 1.

The noise is of the wind blowing against InSight's solar panels and the resulting vibration of the entire spacecraft. The wind vibrations were also recorded by the lander's air pressure sensor.

It's been almost two weeks since NASA successfully landed its InSIght lander on Mars and the craft is getting ready to start its important work on the planet.

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. The first audio clip requires headphones or, ideally, a subwoofer to hear, NASA warns.

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Nearly 10 days ago, NASA's new Mars lander had touched down the Mars' surface.

The Instrument Deployment Camera aboard NASA's InSight lander took this photo of one of the lander's 7-foot (2.2 meters) wide solar panels. As well, this was something of a lucky acquisition, as NASA says it is the only part of InSight's mission where these sounds could have been recorded passing over the rover. The arm will move the science instruments from the lander and set them on the surface of the planet so they can start taking data reads.

The wind was detected by two sensitive sensors on InSight. "They do sound like the wind or maybe the ocean roaring in the background, but it also has kind of an unworldly feel to it". The seismometer is waiting to be deployed to the lander's robotic arm, and once that happens it will be covered with a domed shield to protect it from wind and temperature changes, so it won't be able to pick up this sound. When InSight is conducting its science mission, the seismometer won't be able to hear the wind, attuned only to the grumblings of the planet's interior. "What you're hearing now should get a lot quieter", Pike said.

We know what Mars looks like, but there's a lot of mystery around what Mars sounds like. The Mars Mission has been peppered with findings that both amaze and surprise us. "It just gives another way of thinking about how far away [we are when] we're getting these signals".

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