First sounds recorded on surface of Mars by Nasa Insight probe

Mindy Sparks
December 8, 2018

NASA's InSight lander, which touched down on the Red Planet in late November, is giving us new insights into the sounds created by the planet's winds.

The audio was captured December 1 by two sensors on InSight and the wind was estimated to have been moving about 10 to 15 miles per hour at the time the vibrations were captured.

The seismometer readings are in the range of human hearing, but are almost all bass and hard to hear on laptop speakers and mobile devices.

NASA increased the pitch of the audio by two octaves for those who couldn't hear the original, and for those listening on a laptop or a phone. Playback is suggested on a sound system with a subwoofer or through headphones. The air pressure sensor recorded the vibrations directly from changes in the air. In a few weeks, it is due to be placed on the Martian surface by InSight's robotic arm. The winds were consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area, which were observed from orbit, NASA reports. "But one of the things [the InSight mission] is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves".

InSight's "sound" data is fascinating, but it's just a preview of grander NASA plans when it comes to audio from Mars.


These vibrations were detected by an ultra-sensitive seismometer developed in the United Kingdom and an air pressure sensor sitting on the lander's deck. "They do sound like the wind or maybe the ocean roaring in the background, but it also has kind of an unworldly feel to it".

"It really sounds other worldly, and that is exactly what it is".

But the scientists warned not to get too attached to these recordings, because they won't last long. It's like InSight is cupping its ears and hearing the Mars wind beating on it.

Both recorded the Martian wind in different ways.

We know what Mars looks like, but there's a lot of mystery around what Mars sounds like. "It just gives another way of thinking about how far away [we are when] we're getting these signals".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER