"The InSight lander acts like a giant ear", said Tom Pike, InSight science team member and sensor designer at Imperial College, London. You may need to put on earphones or crank up your subwoofer to hear what's going on in the first video, which is made up of raw data from the seismometer.
The space agency characterized the sounds of the Martian winds as "haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 miles per hour (5 to 7 meters a second)".
But while the instruments on InSight can capture data in human-friendly frequencies, higher-pitched sounds don't travel well on Mars. It will also record the sound of the instrument's laser as it zaps different materials, helping to identify the material based on the sound it makes. According to the Tweet, sensors in InSight's seismometer and weather instrument captured vibrations from martian wind hitting the lander on December 1. This sensor recorded the vibrations directly while the seismometer recorded the vibrations of the movement the wind caused in the solar panels.
"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said. The first is an air pressure sensor inside the lander, which collects "meteorological data".
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NASA's Viking 1 and 2 landers also picked up signals of the Martian wind when they landed in 1976. "We're all still on a high from the landing last week. and here we are less than two weeks after landing, and we've already got some wonderful new science", said NASA's Lori Glaze, acting director of planetary science.
The "really unworldly" sounds from InSight, meanwhile, have Banerdt imaging he's "on a planet that's in some ways like the Earth, but in some ways really alien".
But the scientists warned not to get too attached to these recordings, because they won't last long. When InSight is conducting its science mission, the seismometer won't be able to hear the wind, attuned only to the grumblings of the planet's interior. NASA shared two copies of the wind recording, one as it was captured and another adjusted for playback on phones and laptops. However NASA promise an even clearer sound of the Red Planet is coming with the Mars 2020 rover that will have two microphones on board.
We know what Mars looks like, but there's a lot of mystery around what Mars sounds like.