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NASA’s InSight Lander captures wind sounds of Mars

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory released audio clips on Friday, December 7, of the alien wind after the low-frequency rumblings were collected by the InSight lander during its first week of operations at Mars. The wind is estimated to be blowing 16 kph to 24 kph. Researchers say these are the first sounds from Mars that are detectable by human ears.

Scientists involved in the project agree the sound has an otherworldly quality to it. The noise is of the wind blowing against InSight’s solar panels and the resulting vibration of the entire spacecraft. The sounds were recorded by an air pressure sensor inside the lander that is part of a weather station, as well as the seismometer on the deck of the spacecraft.

The low frequencies are a result of Mars’ thin air density and even more so the seismometer itself; it is meant to detect underground seismic waves, well below the threshold of human hearing. The seismometer will be moved to the Martian surface in the coming weeks. Until then, the team plans to record more wind noise. InSight landed on the planet on November 26, almost seven months after leaving Earth.

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