Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Ever sounds of Martian wind heard

Ever sounds of Martian wind heard

These are the first sounds of Martian wind humanity has ever acquired, a new milestone in NASA's exploration of the Red Planet. The very first time that humans have heard the sounds of the winds on Mars!

That rumbling noise was the vibrations, caused by the wind flowing over InSight's solar panels, which were recorded by the lander's sensitive seismometer. In a few weeks, it will be placed on the Martian surface by InSight's robotic arm, then covered by a domed shield to protect it from wind and temperature changes.

You can hear the audio in the video above. So, NASA also provided a version of the recording shifted up in pitch, which pulls some of the otherwise-inaudible infrasound into hearing range.

It's been less than two weeks since InSight touched down on the surface of the Red Planet, but it is already sending back incredible things for us to marvel at. 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.

This latest collection of images from the spacecraft's landing site at Elysium Planitia comprises 17 novel snapshots and was received by mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, on December 4 - or sol 8 of the InSight Mars mission.

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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. As new Science Minister I am excited to see what more we can achieve on land and in outer space. 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.

The sound of the wind is similar to what wind, or maybe crashing waves, would sound like on Earth.

In the meantime, the sounds of the Martian wind are a poignant reminder of just how far InSight has flown: more than 300 million miles (480 million kilometers), becoming only the eighth spacecraft to successfully touch down on the Red Planet.

"We've been waiting for this moment for a long time, says Philippe Lognonné, principal investigator of the seismometer".

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