NASA's InSight Lander Sends Back Sounds of Mars

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The NASA InSight took this photo of the surface of Mars using its robotic arm-mounted, Instrument Deployment Camera after touching down on the surface of the planet, November 26, 2018.

Nasa presented the sounds at a news conference on Friday.

Get your headphones and subwoofers ready: NASA unveiled its new Sounds of Mars recording and it's almost all bass. Shown are the lander's arm (top), its 2.2 metre wide solar panel, one of its two TWINS temperature and wind sensors (left of centre), its UHF antenna (bottom centre), its SEIS seimometer (bottom left), and the white dome (centre left) now covers its pressure sensor.

New audio has been released from the surface of Mars, and the sound is more hauntingly familiar than you might expect. Instead, they're specially created to tackle an important scientific challenge: solving mysteries about the interior of Mars. The two instruments recorded the wind noise in different ways. Because wind gusts can trick the seismometer, the lander is equipped with an air pressure sensor to isolate that background noise.

"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said. The low-frequency rumblings were collected by Insight lander during its first week of operations on Mars.

But for InSight's first mixtape, none of the lander's instruments have been deployed. The sounds were recorded by an air pressure sensor inside the lander that part of a weather station, as well as the seismometer on the deck of the spacecraft.

Nasa said that the air pressure sensor used to collect meteorological data recorded these air vibrations directly.

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The NASA InSight rover features sensors that enable it to capture vibrations, which it did on December 1. First, the raw sample from the seismometer.

Scientists involved in the project agree the sound has an otherworldly quality to it. "They do sound like the wind or maybe the ocean kind of roaring in the background".

But the scientists warned not to get too attached to these recordings, because they won't last long.

We've never before been able to HEAR the sounds of the wind on Mars, though. Wow!

There are more scheduled recordings to come from the surface of Mars. 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. It will identify the various materials on Mars based on the change in sound frequency.

What did we just hear?

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