Scientists said Friday that they had made the first sound recordings on Mars, revealing a planet that is essentially quiet save for the occasional gust of wind.
Scientists were able to hear what life is like on Mars for the first time owing to two microphones onboard NASA’s Perseverance rover.
On Friday, Nature released an early analysis of the five hours of sound captured by Perseverance’s microphones.
The audio revealed previously unheard turbulence on Mars, according to Sylvestre Maurice, the study’s senior author and scientific co-director of the SuperCam placed on the rover’s mast, which contains the main microphone.
The global team heard the rover’s laser blast rocks to learn more about their chemical composition while the Ingenuity helicopter buzzed beside Perseverance. The sound on Mars travels about 240 meters per second, compared to 340 meters per second on Earth. This is the first time it has been shown.
Because Mars’ atmosphere is 95 percent carbon dioxide, compared to 0.04 percent on Earth, and roughly 100 times thinner, the study discovered that Mars’ sound is 20 decibels softer than on Earth.
The scientists were taken aback by the laser’s faster-than-expected sound speed. They had discovered that Mars has two unique sound rates for high-frequency noises like the zap of the laser and lower frequency sounds like the hum of the helicopter. The human ear would be able to notice higher-pitched sounds sooner in this instance.
“On Earth, the sounds from an orchestra reach you at the same speed, whether they are low or high. But imagine on Mars, if you are a little far from the stage, there will be a big delay,” explained author Sylvestre Maurice.
Perseverance is not yet done listening. The main mission of the Curiosity rover is intended to last a little over two years, yet it has already completed nine years of its two-year tenure.