Science

NASA's InSight lander 'hears' wind on Mars

NASA's InSight lander 'hears' wind on Mars

An air pressure sensor and seismometer detected the vibrations on December 1. It will identify the various materials on Mars based on the change in sound frequency.

Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said that capturing the sound waves on the red planet was unexpected and that its mission was dedicated to detecting the motion on Mars which also includes the motion caused by the sound waves. What has been captured is the sound of the red planet - distinct, low, humming winds.

A second version of the audio was also released with the audio pitched slightly higher, where the sound is more perceivable to the human ear. The dome-shaped object behind it is a wind and thermal shield for the instrument. This, along with a magnetometer and a set of wind and temperature sensors, are part of a package called the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Subsystem, which will collect meteorological data.

InSight's seismometer and another sensor picked up the noise, and it was not planned.

"The solar panels on the lander's sides respond to pressure fluctuations of the wind. The seismometer recorded lander vibrations caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft's solar panels". The lander will measure whether tremors have the same effect as earthquakes.

Police Target ‘Ndrangheta Italian Mafia in Raids Across Europe
Wednesday's raids were the culmination of an investigation codenamed "Pollino" that was launched in 2016 against the 'Ndrangheta. German prosecutors said 65 premises linked to the southern Italy-based organised crime group were also being searched.

Earlier it was reported that the InSight probe made a successful landing on Mars at the end of November 2019. NASA refers to the craft's task of learning about the planet's seismic waves as "taking the planet's pulse".

The first image the lander sent back right after it made its successful landing was obstructed and hard to make out because the lens cap was still on the camera but with the cap off the photos are far more clear now.

More images from InSight's arm were scheduled to come down this past weekend.

On a similar note, Rocket Lab, US-based small satellite launch firm, is preparing for the year's third orbital launch of the firm, the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites-19 mission for NASA.


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