Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

NASA's InSight Senses Martian Wind — Sounds of Mars

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 Recorded the Sounds of Mars (And It's Almost All Creepy Bass)
Kristen Harrington | 08 December, 2018, 01:51

These are the first sounds from Mars that are detectible by human ears, according to the researchers. These are vibrations, captured by NASA's InSight lander, which touched down on the Red Planet just last week. The low-frequency rumblings were collected by the InSight lander during its first week- and-a-half of operations at Mars. But the ICC, located underneath the lander's deck, is demonstrating that Mars is still unpredictable.

We know what Mars looks like, but there's a lot of mystery around what Mars sounds like. We provide the original audio and a version pitched up by two octaves to make them audible on mobile devices. This robotic arm will soon come in handy when it's finally time for the spacecraft to deploy its SEIS seismometer and HP3 heat flow probe - "the only instruments ever to be robotically placed on the surface of another planet", notes NASA.

InSight's seismometer captured the vibrations.

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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory released audio clips of the alien wind on Friday. Using the Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), which has a resolution of 1024 x 1024 pixels and a 45-degree field of view, the lander has documented its surrounding terrain.

InSight lander's sensors are created to detect quakes and air pressure through wind vibrations. The seismometer recorded vibrations as the wind moved over the lander's solar panels, each of which is more than 2 metres in diameter and sticks out from the sides of the lander like a giant pair of ears. The space agency estimates the wind was blowing between 10 and 15 miles per hour (5 to 7 meters a second) on December 1 when InSight collected the data. The sample includes data gathered during the first 15 minutes that the sensors were recording.

"It really sounds otherworldly, and that is exactly what it is".

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"It's a little like a flag waving in the wind", he added.

The 1976 Viking landers on Mars picked up spacecraft shaking caused by wind, but it would be a stretch to consider it sound, said InSight's lead scientist, Bruce Banerdt, of JPL in Pasadena, California.

The air pressure sensor inside the shield will be relocated as well, and the team will gather data at night, when it expects the wind will have died down and the lander itself will be making less noise.

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

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