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Nasa lander captures first sounds of Martian wind

Nasa lander captures first sounds of Martian wind

What's even more exciting about InSight's fascinating discovery is that the NASA team were not even planning on capturing the previously unheard wind.

There are more plans to record sounds on Mars with the 2002 lander project.

"Hearing the first sounds ever recorded on the surface of another planet is a privilege". That wind pattern is consistent with the direction of dust devil tracks that were observed in the landing area from orbit, NASA said.

Humanity has been provided with a recording of winds on Mars for the first time ever thanks to NASA's newly deployed InSight rover.

NASA said that the mission engineers planned to move the seismometer from the lander on to the ground next to it. The vehicle arrived on Mars in November, successfully landing after months of travel to the Red Planet. In a few weeks, it is due to be placed on the Martian surface by InSight's robotic arm.

Winds on Mars are a lot different from winds on Earth, largely because Mars' carbon-dioxide atmosphere is only 1 percent as dense as Earth's.

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In the months ahead, Banfield said he's hoping InSight's sensors will pick up the sounds of gusts or other variations in the steady breeze of a Martian afternoon. 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.

InSight will see if tremors, or marsquakes, have a similar effect on Mars.

In a news release, InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said the wind detection was an "unplanned treat".

Because InSight's seismometer is created to measure seismic activity, the recorded sounds are near the lower edge of the human ear's sensitivity, around 50 Hz. "It's going to become very hard to hear the sounds from the outside of Mars later on". 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.

The noise was produced due to the air blowing over the solar panels of the InSight lander as well as the motion of the spacecraft.

According to NASA, InSight is now in the process of setting up its instruments on Mars.


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