In December 2018, NASA’s Mars InSight Lander recorded the sounds of Mars for the first time ever. Musician Andrew Huang made music using the real Mars sounds.

Making music with actual sounds from Mars

And here is the video published by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory titled “Sounds of Mars: NASA’s InSight Senses Martian Wind”.

Sounds of Mars: NASA’s InSight Senses Martian Wind. listen to Martian wind blow across NASA’s InSight lander. The spacecraft’s seismometer and air pressure sensor picked up vibrations from 10-15 mph (16-24 kph) winds as they blew across Mars’ ‘Elysium Planitia on Dec. 1, 2018.
The seismometer readings are in the range of human hearing but are nearly all bass and difficult to hear on laptop speakers and mobile devices. We provide the original audio and a version pitched up by two octaves to make them audible on mobile devices. Playback is suggested on a sound system with a subwoofer or through headphones. Readings from the air pressure sensor have been sped up by a factor of 100 times to make them audible.

You can download full-length uncompressed .wav files from NASA.gov/sounds

InSight image acquired on November 27, 2018, Sol 1. The lander captured Mars sounds on December 1.
NASA’s InSight Mars lander acquired this image using its robotic arm-mounted, Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC). This image was acquired on November 27, 2018, Sol 1 where the local mean solar time for the image exposures was 13:32:45. Each IDC image has a field of view of 45 x 45 degrees. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Two very sensitive sensors on the InSight lander detected these wind vibrations: an air pressure sensor inside the lander and a seismometer sitting on the lander’s deck, awaiting deployment by InSight’s robotic arm. The two instruments recorded the wind noise in different ways. The air pressure sensor, part of the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Subsystem (APSS), which will collect meteorological data, recorded these air vibrations directly. The seismometer recorded lander vibrations caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft’s solar panels, which are each 7 feet (2.2 meters) in diameter and stick out from the sides of the lander like a giant pair of ears.

This is the only phase of the mission during which the seismometer, called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), will be capable of detecting vibrations generated directly by the lander. 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. It still will detect the lander’s movement, though channeled through the Martian surface. For now, it’s recording vibrational data that scientists later will be able to use to cancel out noise from the lander when SEIS is on the surface, allowing them to detect better actual marsquakes.

When earthquakes occur on Earth, their vibrations, which bounce around inside our planet, make it “ring” similar to how a bell creates sound. InSight will see if tremors, or marsquakes, have a similar effect on Mars. SEIS will detect these vibrations that will tell us about the Red Planet’s deep interior. Scientists hope this will lead to new information on the formation of the planets in our solar system, perhaps even of our own planet.

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, a former road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the planet Earth and science on this website, ourplnt.com. You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

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