NASA has just released a new audio file, captured by the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport InSight lander, which touched down on Mars just 10 days ago, of the first ever “sounds” of Martian winds on the Red Planet. The lander’s sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, which were estimated to being between 10 to 15 mph on December 1st, from northwest to southeast, consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area. Read more for another video and additional information.
The spacecraft has two very sensitive sensors that detected these wind vibrations: an air pressure sensor inside the lander and a seismometer sitting on the lander’s deck. They recorded the wind noise in different ways: the air pressure sensor recorded these air vibrations directly, while the seismometer recorded lander vibrations caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft’s 7-foot solar panels.
“Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat. But one of the things our mission is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves,” said Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.