The first sound recorded on Mars shows two speeds of sound

NASA's Perseverance rover recorded the first sounds on the surface of Mars

NASA’s Perseverance rover recorded the first sounds on the surface of Mars.

The first sound waves on Mars show a calm earth with wind sometimes where two speeds of sound have a different effect on hearing, scientists said Friday.

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

In a study published in so so newspaper on Friday, the scientists gave their first evaluation of five hours of sound collected by Perseverance’s microphones.

The voice was attributed to an unseen disturbance on Mars, said Sylvestre Maurice, lead author of the study and scientific director of the SuperCam the size of the shoe box mounted on the mast of the rover owns a large microphone.

The international team listened to the tours by a small Ingenuity helicopter, a sister who created Perseverance, and heard the rover’s laser zap beats teach their composer – which made a “clack clack” sound. , Maurice told AFP.

“We got an internal sound source, between two and five meters (six to 16 meters) from his target, and we knew exactly when to fire,” he said.

The study confirmed for the first time that the sound is much slower on Mars, traveling at 240 meters per second, compared to 340 meters on Earth.

This is thought to be because Mars’s atmosphere contains 95 percent carbon dioxide – compared to 0.04 percent of Earth’s – and is about 100 times thinner, reducing noise to 20 decibels, he said. and lesson.

Most of the time, Mars is very quiet, scientists say

Most of the time, Mars is very quiet, scientists say.

‘I’m worried’

But scientists were amazed that the laser could sound 250 meters per second – 10 meters faster than expected.

“I was a little nervous,” Maurice said. “I told myself one of the two measurements was wrong because on Earth there is only one speed of sound.”

They found that there are two speeds of sound on the surface of Mars – one for high sounds like the zap of a laser, and the other for low frequencies like the whistling of a helicopter rotor.

That is, the human ear first hears loud sounds.

“On Earth, sounds from an orchestra come to you at the same speed, whether low or high. But think on Mars, if you’re a little far from the stage, it’s going to be very slow,” Maurice said. .

“All of this makes it difficult for two people to communicate five meters (16 feet) apart,” the French CNRS research institute said in a statement.

NASA’s Perseverance is the first rover to put the wheels on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance is the first rover to put the wheels on Mars.

Science gambling has paid off

But the calm on Mars doesn’t make scientists often afraid of something wrong, the CNRS said, that might evoke memories of the first two unsuccessful attempts in 1999 and 2008 to record there.

“There are very few natural sound sources without wind,” said the scientists in a statement from the research.

The microphones picked up “screech” and “clank” sounds as the rover’s metal wheels met rocks, the study said.

Recording can teach you about problems with the rover – like how drivers perceive fault when their car starts making strange noises.

Maurice said he believed the “science game” of bringing microphones to Mars was important.

Thierry Fouchet of the Paris Observatory, who co -authored the study, said listening to noise, such as direct winds called convection plumes, “allows us to clean up our mess. our statistical models for predicting the weather and the weather ”.

Missionaries to Venus or Saturn’s moon Titan may be equipped with microphones.

And it didn’t take long to keep hearing that. While its critical career is more than two years, it can continue to work beyond that – the Curiosity rover is starting nine years into a two -year plan.


An analysis of the sounds captured by the Perseverance rover shows the speed of sound on the Red Planet


More information:
S. Maurice et al, In situ recording of Mars soundscape, so so (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-022-04679-0

© 2022 AFP

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