The eerie sounds of Mars: NASA releases incredible audio captured by its Perseverance rover on the Red Planet – including dust storms, the crunch of its wheels and the whirring of the Ingenuity helicopter

- Advertisement -


  • Sounds recorded by a pair of microphones on NASA’s Perseverance rover
  • One is on the arm of the rover next to the laser and the other is on the body of the rover
  • More than five hours of audio recorded by NASA on Mars so far
  • This includes the sound of the wind, the wheels of the rover and the Ingenuity helicopter

- Advertisement -

NASA’s Perseverance rover has been recording the ‘terrifying sounds of Mars’ since its arrival in February, including its lack of wheels and the Ingenuity helicopter.

NASA says sounds from the Red Planet are made possible thanks to a pair of microphones on the rover, which make it sound like ‘you’re actually standing there’.

advertisement

The rover has been roaming Jezero Crater for eight months, searching for signs of ancient life, as well as taking stunning photographs and recording sound.

Perseverance is the first craft to record the sound of the Red Planet, and as well as allowing us to hear the wind on another world, it provides information about the atmosphere.

- Advertisement -

Researchers at the L’Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in Toulouse, France, say that analyzing the sound of Mars showed it had “strong bass vibrations”.

The audio recordings have also helped NASA engineers monitor the engines, wheels and normal running of both Perseverance and Ingenuity helicopters.

NASA’s Perseverance rover has been recording the ‘terrifying sounds of Mars’ since its arrival in February, including its lack of wheels and the Ingenuity helicopter

NASA says sounds from the Red Planet are made possible thanks to a pair of microphones on the rover, which make it sound like 'you're actually standing there'.

NASA says sounds from the Red Planet are made possible thanks to a pair of microphones on the rover, which make it sound like ‘you’re actually standing there’.

Mars: The Basics

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, with a ‘near-dead’ dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere.

Mars is also a dynamic planet with weather, polar ice caps, canyons, extinct volcanoes and evidence that it was even more active in the past.

It is one of the most explored planets in the Solar System and the only planet humans have sent a rover to explore.

A day on Mars takes a little over 24 hours and a year is 687 Earth days.

Facts & Figures

orbital time: 687 days

surface area: 144.8 million km²

distance from the sun: 227.9 million km

gravity: 3.721 m/s

RADIUS: 3,389.5 km

moon: Phobos, Deimoso

advertisement

According to NASA, about five hours of audio has been recorded on the Perseverance rover by two microphones so far.

This includes the gusts of Martian air, the wheels of the rover hitting gravel and the motors that spin while the Ingenuity helicopter moves through the air.

These sounds allow scientists and engineers to experience the Red Planet in new ways, according to Baptiste Chaide, a planetary scientist in France.

“Martian sounds have strong bass vibrations, so when you put on the headphones, you can really feel it,” he explained.

‘I think the microphone will be an important asset for future Mars and Solar System science.’

Both of Rover’s microphones were commercially available, off-the-shelf devices. One rides on the side of the rover’s chassis and the other mic sits on its mast as a complement to the Supercam laser equipment.

The SuperCam studies the rocks and soil with a laser, then analyzes the resulting vapor with the camera.

Since the laser pulses hundreds of times per target, opportunities to quickly capture those blinking sounds add up: The microphone has already recorded more than 25,000 laser shots.

Those recordings are teaching scientists about changes in the planet’s atmosphere.

The SuperCam mic on Perseverance’s mast is ideally located to monitor ‘micro turbulence’ – minute shifts in the air.

The rover has been roaming Jezero Crater for eight months, searching for signs of ancient life, as well as taking stunning photos and recording sound

The rover has been roaming Jezero Crater for eight months, searching for signs of ancient life, as well as taking stunning photos and recording sound

It complements the rover’s dedicated wind sensors, which are part of a suite of atmospheric instruments called MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer).

MEDA’s sensors sample wind speed, pressure and temperature one to two times per second for up to two hours at a time.

The Supercam’s microphone, on the other hand, can deliver the same amount of information at a rate of 20,000 times per second over several minutes.

‘It’s like comparing a magnifying glass to a microscope with 100 times magnification,’ said MEDA investigator, José Rodriguez-Manfredi, of the Centro de Astrobiolía (CAB) at the Institut Nacional de Tecnica Aerospecial in Madrid.

Perseverance is the first craft to record the sound of the Red Planet, and as well as allowing us to hear the wind on other worlds, they provide information about the atmosphere

Perseverance is the first craft to record the sound of the Red Planet, and as well as allowing us to hear the wind on other worlds, they provide information about the atmosphere

Researchers at the L'Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in Toulouse, France, say that analyzing the sound of Mars showed it had

Researchers at the L’Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in Toulouse, France, say that analyzing the sound of Mars showed it had “strong bass vibrations”.

Mars is ‘too young’ to retain liquid water, study says

Mars once used to have liquid water, but is now an arid desert landscape – and that may be because it is too small to retain moisture, says a 2021 study.

About half the size of Earth, Mars sits at the very outer edge of the habitable zone where liquid water can ‘flow’.

There is ‘anecdotal evidence’ that Mars once had liquid water, including at Jezero Crater, where the Perseverance rover is now based, but this study shows it did not last long.

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis studied the chemical makeup of Mars meteorites.

These rocks showed that the composition of Mars did not contain the necessary chemicals to hold water for long periods of time.

Read more: Mars ‘too small’ to retain liquid water, according to study

advertisement

‘From a meteorologist’s point of view, each approach – detail and context – complements each other,’ he explained.

The microphone also allows for research on how sound is transmitted on Mars.

Since the planet’s atmosphere is much less dense than Earth’s, scientists knew the loud sounds …

.

- Advertisement -
Mail Us For  DMCA / Credit  Notice

Recent Articles

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Related Stories