“Reminds me of sitting outside on a windy summer afternoon … In some sense, this is what it would sound like if you were sitting on the InSight lander on Mars,” says Cornell University’s Don Banfield about the sound of Martian winds captured by an unmanned lander that landed on Mars on November 26.
NASA InSight lander, for the first time, recorded the audible sound of unworldly winds during the first week of it’s landing on Mars using two sensors: the air pressure sensor constructed inside the lander that’s part of a weather station, as well as the seismometer on the deck of the spacecraft. And the audio clips of the first time ever recorded sound of Martian winds were released by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on this Friday. Interestingly, this is the only sound found to be in the audible range of humans, but the frequency, is found to be quite low and speed of the winds is estimated to be 10 mph to 15 mph i.e. 16 kph to 24 kph.
As Mr. Thomas Pike of Imperial College London said, “The rumbling is rather different to anything that we’ve experienced on Earth, and I think it just gives us another way of thinking about how far away we are getting these signals.” Surprisingly, these winds hitting against the solar panels of the Mars lander are creating some sort of vibrations in the whole spacecraft, which is one more indication of how alien they are. The scientists are trying to identify the reason behind these winds and the signals behind it, if any. The wind, as Bruce Banerdt said, was “an unplanned treat” to them because earlier, two of the landers from NASA had taken up the signals of Martian winds but they were not found to be in a audible frequency.
An audio track of the Martian wind is available on www.nasa.gov/insightmarswind.