In a rare capture, NASA’s Perseverance rover has changed our understanding of Mars’ physiology and now its natural sonic abilities as well.
Giving a panorama view of the “South Seitah” region of Mars’ Jezero Crater, offering clues to the area’s mysterious past, the rover has captured sounds and all sonic abilities of what being on Red Planet is like.
Composed of 84 individual enhanced-colour images that were later stitched together, the mosaic was taken on September 12 (the 201st Martian day, or sol, of the mission) by the Mastcam-Z camera system as the rover was parked on an elevated overlook just outside its entry point into South Seitah, NASA said in a statement.
Two microphones aboard the six-wheeled spacecraft add a new dimension to the way scientists and engineers explore the Red Planet.
NASA stated, thanks to two microphones aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover, the mission has recorded nearly five hours of Martian wind gusts, rover wheels crunching over gravel, and motors whirring as the spacecraft moves its arm. These sounds allow scientists and engineers to experience the Red Planet in new ways – and everyone is invited to listen in.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said that since its arrival on Mars the rover has recorded nearly five hours of Martian wind gusts, rover wheels crunching over gravel, and motors whirring as the spacecraft moves its arm. The rover is equipped with two microphones adding a new dimension to the way scientists and engineers explore the Red Planet.
“It’s like you’re really standing there. Martian sounds have strong bass vibrations, so when you put on headphones, you can really feel it. I think microphones will be an important asset to future Mars and solar system science,” said Baptiste Chide, a planetary scientist who studies data from the microphones.
Perseverance is the first spacecraft to record the sound of the Red Planet using dedicated microphones – both of which were commercially available, off-the-shelf devices. One rides on the side of the rover’s chassis. The second mic sits on Perseverance’s mast as a complement to the SuperCam laser instrument’s investigations of rocks and the atmosphere.