May 25, 2022

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Secrets of the amazing soundtrack on Mars

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NASA’s mobile robot “Perseverance” revealed the secrets of the magnificent sound scene of Mars, and recorded from the rover that the red planet is quiet, in which the sound travels slowly and at two different speeds.

When the US space agency’s robot landed on Mars a year ago, it sent the first audio recording of a microphone on Mars in the history of space exploration, accomplishing previous tasks at human’s listening frequencies. Could not.

Behind the roar of the vehicle, the sound of the wind was clearly heard in this post. Thus, after 50 years of research vehicles sending thousands of images to Earth, the Red Planet came out of a “sound-free state,” according to the National Science Research Center in France. Friday Science Magazine “Nature”.

Sylvester Morris, the lead author of the study, says that this first recording indicates the existence of previously unknown turbulent systems on Mars, the co – director of science for the robot’s “super game” instrument, which features a microphone designed by Isa-Supero in Toulouse, France.

But this post is not enough to create a clear picture. Morris, an astronomer at the university’s Astronomy and Planetary Research Institute, explained that because Mars is so quiet most of the time, it had to use two “active” sources to capture robot-provided assets before being sent to Mars. Toulouse.

His team benefited from the “brilliance” of the miniature helicopter that came with the robot and the laser shots sent toward the rocks of Mars to explore their chemical composition through the sound of them colliding.

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The researcher pointed out that the footage “provided a highly localized sound source two to five meters away from its target and the exact time of its shooting was known.”

It was able to measure the speed of sound in the field at 240 meters per second and on Earth at 340 meters per second. Given the combination of Mars’ atmosphere (96 percent carbon dioxide, compared to 0.004 percent on Earth) and its lowest pressure (170 times that of Earth), the speed of sound is not surprisingly slow.

However, the surprise came from the sound of the laser reaching 250 meters per second. “I was a little scared there!” Said Sylvester Morris. “On Earth, I told myself that a measurement would not be true because there is only one speed of sound near the surface.”

In fact, Mars has two speeds of sound: one for high pitch sounds (laser) and one for low pitch sounds (helicopter). In addition, “noise reduction is stronger on Mars than on Earth, especially at high altitudes, and disappears very quickly, even at short distances,” says the researcher. According to the National Center for Scientific Research, it “creates a difficult conversation between two people, only five meters apart.”

The researcher compared it to a concert, saying, “On Earth, the sound of a band reaches you at low or high speeds. Imagine what would happen on Mars if you were a little farther from the stage. It would take a long time for the sound to come.”

Morris believed that the “scientific race” to match space travel with a microphone had succeeded. Although this new instrument is still in its infancy, its constant listening to the sounds of Mars helps us to better understand its atmosphere, which in the past was similar to Earth and provided the ideal conditions for the existence of shapes. Of living organisms.

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Paris Laboratory Theory Future – PSL, one of the authors of the study, predicts that the analysis of turbulent sounds, such as vertical winds, called “convection” will “allow the processing of digital models used for Mars weather and weather forecasts”. “

It could be conducted by the same type of instruments for sound studies of the atmospheres of Venus and Titan, one of Saturn’s moons.