Sounds of Mars wind captured by Nasa's InSight lander

View of lander deck

It's the sounds of Mars.

Listen to Martian wind blow across NASA's InSight lander. "It's been 130 years since the first seismic record on Earth and nearly 50 years since a seismometer was placed on the Moon during the Apollo program". The wind was estimated to be blowing 10 to 15 miles per hour from northwest to southeast, which matched the direction of dust devil streaks observed from another NASA spacecraft in orbit. Because wind gusts can trick the seismometer, the lander is equipped with an air pressure sensor to isolate that background noise.

To get high-quality data from the incredibly sensitive seismometer onboard the lander, the team needs to be able to cancel out all the commotion coming from the Martian surface, looking only at signals coming from inside the planet.

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It's been less than two weeks since InSight touched down on the surface of the Red Planet, but it is already sending back unbelievable things for us to marvel at. The craft will stay put until November 24, 2020, measuring quakes that happen anywhere on Mars.

"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", Bruce Banerdt, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press release.

"Humans are multisensor people, and now we have two of our sensors turned on with this mission", with both audio and visual data streaming back to Earth, Don Banfield, the science lead for the air pressure sensor, said during the news conference.

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The vibrations have been shifted up into the human audible range, and sped up so that we can make sense of them, but it really sounds like if you were sitting on the lander's deck, hearing the winds whistle by your ears! The sample includes data gathered during the first 15 minutes that the sensors were recording. The robot has a lot of work ahead of it, but things always start slowly when you're handling a machine remotely from another planet. Determining the heat flow beneath the surface will give scientists a better understanding of the planet's origins, and whether they're similar to how the Earth and its moon formed.

Keep watching for more to come from InSight!

"We've been waiting for this moment for a long time, says Philippe Lognonné, principal investigator of the seismometer".

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