InSight Lander Sends Back First Ever Recording Of Sounds Of Wind On Mars
For the first time ever, we're able to hear the sound of wind on Mars, thanks to the InSight lander.
The incredible clip, shared online by NASA, was an 'unplanned treat', according to Bruce Banerdt who works at the space agency as a principal investigator for the InSight lander.
Banerdt said: "Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat. 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 sounds are created by vibrations from air on Mars as it passes over the InSight lander's solar panels. The winds are thought to have been travelling at speeds of between 10 to 15 mph.
Sue Horne, head of space exploration for the UK Space Agency, said: "This is brilliant news because it means we know the sensors have survived the rigours of landing on Mars and are meeting the requirements to achieve their science goals.
"It is just amazing to hear the first ever sounds from Mars."
Professor Tom Pike who worked on the seismometer which picked up the sounds, told the BBC: "The solar panels on the lander's sides are perfect acoustic receivers. It's like InSight is cupping its ears."
:camera_with_flash: Wish you were here! @NASAInSight sent home its first photo after #MarsLanding:
InSight's view is a flat, smooth expanse called Elysium Planitia, but its workspace is below the surface, where it will study Mars' deep interior. pic.twitter.com/3EU70jXQJw
- NASA (@NASA) November 26, 2018
The main aim of the mission, which cost $1 billion, is to find out more about how the planet is made up by studying it's interior; in hopes that this information will also give us a greater knowledge of how our planet was formed.
Acting director of NASA's planetary science division, Lori Glaze, explained: "Once InSight is settled on the red planet and its instruments are deployed, it will start collecting valuable information about the structure of Mars' deep interior - information that will help us understand the formation and evolution of all rocky planets, including the one we call home."
Banerdt added: "The small details in how planets evolve are what we think make the difference between a place like Earth where you can go on vacation and get a tan, and a place like Venus where you'll burn in seconds or a place like Mars where you'll freeze to death."
Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech