The first audio captured on Mars indicates two sound speeds

The first audio captured on Mars indicates two sound speeds

The first audio captured on Mars indicates two sound speeds
Advertisement

According to experts, the first audio recordings from Mars depict a peaceful planet with periodic gusts of wind where two differing speeds of sound would have a weird delayed impact on hearing.

After NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars in February of last year, its two microphones began recording, allowing scientists to hear for the first time what it’s like on the Red Planet.

The scientists released their initial analysis of the five hours of sound picked up by Perseverance’s microphones in the journal Nature on Friday.

According to Sylvestre Maurice, the study’s principal author and scientific co-director of the shoebox-sized SuperCam installed on the rover’s mast, which contains the main microphone, the audio showed previously unseen turbulence on Mars.

According to Maurice, the worldwide team listened to flights by the small Ingenuity helicopter, a sister ship to Perseverance, and heard the rover’s laser zap rocks to investigate their chemical makeup, which created a “clack clack” sound.

Advertisement

“We had a highly localised sound source, between two and five metres (six to sixteen metres) from its target, and we knew exactly when it was going to fire,” he explained.

The study proved for the first time that the speed of sound on Mars is slower, travelling at 240 metres per second compared to 340 metres per second on Earth.

This was predicted since Mars’ atmosphere has 95 percent carbon dioxide – compared to 0.04 percent on Earth – and is nearly 100 times thinner, making sound 20 decibels softer, according to the study.

 

– ‘I panicked’ –

But the scientists were taken aback when the laser’s sound travelled at a speed of 250 metres per second, which was 10 metres quicker than planned.

Advertisement

“I freaked out a little,” Maurice said. “I convinced myself that one of the two measurements was incorrect since there is only one speed of sound on Earth.”

They detected two speeds of sound on Mars’ surface: one for high-pitched noises like the laser’s zap, and another for lower frequencies like the helicopter rotor’s whir.

This indicates that high-pitched noises would be heard significantly earlier by human hearing.

“On Earth, whether the noises are low or high, they reach you at the same rate. However, on Mars, if you are a little too far from the stage, there will be a significant delay “According to Maurice.

“All of these elements would make it impossible for two persons barely five metres (16 feet) away to conduct a discussion,” the French CNRS research institution stated in a statement.

 

Advertisement

– ‘Scientific bet’ comes off –

It was otherwise so silent on Mars that scientists continually thought something was wrong, according to the CNRS, potentially triggering memories of two earlier failed attempts to capture sound there in 1999 and 2008.

“With the exception of the wind, there are few natural sound sources,” the scientists stated in a statement released in conjunction with the study.

According to the investigation, the microphones picked up several “screech” and “clank” sounds as the rover’s metal wheels clashed with pebbles.

The recording might also be used to warn about rover difficulties, similar to how drivers notice something is wrong when their automobile starts making weird noises.

Maurice declared that the “scientific risk” of sending microphones to Mars had been a success.

Advertisement

Listening to turbulence, such as vertical winds known as convection plumes, would “enable us to update our numerical models for predicting climate and weather,” according to Thierry Fouchet of the Paris Observatory, who was also engaged in the research.

Future expeditions to Venus or Saturn’s moon Titan may now include microphones.

And Perseverance’s spying is far from through. While its primary mission will last little over two years, it might remain functioning for much longer – the Curiosity rover is still nine years into a projected two-year tenure.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Read More News On

Catch all the International News, Breaking News Event and Latest News Updates on The BOL News


Download The BOL News App to get the Daily News Update & Follow us on Google News.


End of Article

Next Story