Since landing on Mars last week, NASA's InSight module has taken photos of itself and its surroundings as it prepares to unload the scientific instruments it has taken to the planet.
But the module also captured what other missions on Mars never did: the audio of the planet's winds.
"Capturing that audio was an unexpected surprise," said Bruce Banerdt, InSight's principal investigator, in a statement. "But one of the things our mission is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars and, of course, that includes movement caused by sound waves."
The audio was recorded by an air pressure sensor and by the seismograph on board the InSight. This sensor detected the air vibrations directly, while the seismograph recorded the vibrations caused by the Martian wind blowing through the InSight solar panels. Scientists estimate that the wind was blowing between 16 and 21 km / h.
"The InSight module works like a giant ear," said Tom Pike, who is part of the team of scientists. "The solar panels on the sides of the probe respond to fluctuations in the wind pressure, as if InSight was covering its ears and hearing the Mars wind reaching them, as we look in the direction of the vibrations of the landing module coming from the panels the expected direction of the wind at our landing site. "
In the video below you can hear the audio of the Martian wind. NASA recommends using headphones or a subwoofer because the tone is too low. But the video also raises the audio in two octaves to make it easier to hear.
Recording the seismograph is only possible during these early stages of the InSight mission because, once placed on the Martian surface, a dome will protect it from the wind and scientists will actively filter the vibrating noise from the probe. This is because the main purpose of the seismograph is to detect seismic movements on Mars.
Then you can watch videos separated from the InSight recordings, obviously with the corresponding sound records.