NASA’s InSight lander ‘hears’ Martian wind

10 December, 2018, 02:55 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • 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

Ever wondered what it sounds like to be on the surface of Mars?

After recently beaming back a selfie of its robotic arm raised in triumph, as the Inquisitr reported on Wednesday, the InSight Mars lander has snapped another photo of its 6-feet-long appendage.

NASA said that the mission engineers planned to move the seismometer from the lander on to the ground next to it. "But one of the things our mission is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves".

The agency said that in next few weeks its Insight lander will also detect the effect of quakes or tremors on Mars, also called Marsquakes, which will provide a deeper insight into the the red planet's interior and possibly about the formation of planets including earth. What has been captured is the sound of the red planet - distinct, low, humming winds.

InSight's seismometer and another sensor picked up the noise, and it was not planned. "The seismometer recorded lander vibrations caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft's solar panels".

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NASA's InSight spacecraft flipped open the lens cover on its Instrument Context Camera on November 30, 2018, and captured this dust-flecked view of Mars. 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 lander will also measure the tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars.

You can download NASA's Sounds of Mars recording here. NASA refers to the craft's task of learning about the planet's seismic waves as "taking the planet's pulse".

According to Newsweek, those microphones will record both audio of the rover's landing as well as sounds it hears while exploring the planet.

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

Upon the landing of Insight, JPL director Michael Watkins said, "Every Mars landing is daunting, but now with InSight safely on the surface we get to do a unique kind of science on Mars".

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