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Hear to the snap, crackle, pop of NASA’s Perseverance rover zapping rocks on Mars with a laser

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Hear to the snap, crackle, pop of NASA’s Perseverance rover zapping rocks on Mars with a laser
  • Microphones on NASA’s Perseverance rover have recorded extra audio from Mars.
  • The latest sounds are of the rover’s lasers vaporizing rocks to be aware Mars’ surface.
  • Perseverance sent back audio of a Martian sail last month – the first clip ever recorded on Mars.

NASA’s Perseverance rover has begun zapping Martian rocks with lasers – and recording the sound.

NASA lately released a 10-second audio clip of Perseverance’s lasers firing away on the pink planet. As they strike Mars’ surface, a rhythmic clicking sound can be heard, admire an otherworldly metronome.

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-NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 10, 2021

A microphone attached to the rover’s SuperCam laser instrument serene audio from 30 laser impacts on March 12, some a bit louder than others. The staccato pops on the recording are the sound of the laser vaporizing rocks.

The lasers had been striking a rock named “Máaz” (which means Mars in the Navajo language), located 10 toes from the rover. By having the rover zap the Martian surface in this way, scientists can learn extra about how hard rocks admire Máaz are, and what they’re made of.

“If we tap on a surface that is hard, we is no longer going to hear the same sound as once we fireplace on a surface that is soft,” astronomer Naomi Murdoch, a member of the SuperCam team, told the BBC.

Máaz grew to develop to be out to be a basaltic rock, made of magnesium and iron.

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Sounds from another planet

These aren’t the first sounds Perseverance has beamed back to Earth.

A few days after the rover landed on Mars in February, it captured sounds of a Martian sail. The clip was the first audio recording scientists had ever serene from the surface of another planet.

-NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 22, 2021

Engineers geared up Perseverance with two microphones. The Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) Cam microphone was primarily meant to file sounds from the landing, though it failed to conclude so, and also to acquire audio from Perseverance’s disappear via space. The rover launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in July and traveled nearly 300 million miles to reach Mars.

The other mic, attached to the rover’s SuperCam, was designed to hear to sounds from the rover after it landed on the Martian surface.

Listen to the snap, crackle, pop of NASA's Perseverance rover zapping rocks on Mars with a laser
An artist’s illustration of NASA’s Perseverance rover.NASA/JPL-Caltech

According to Dave Gruel, NASA’s lead engineer for Perseverance’s camera and microphone programs, each microphones will continue collecting audio all via the relaxation of the rover’s mission. The robot is poised to utilize the subsequent two years scouring Mars’ Jezero Crater for indicators of ancient alien life and collecting rock samples.

“We know the public is fascinated with Mars exploration, so we added the EDL Cam microphone to the automobile because we hoped it may enhance the ride, especially for visually impaired space fans, and engage and encourage other individuals around the world,” he said in a NASA press release.

Listen to the snap, crackle, pop of NASA's Perseverance rover zapping rocks on Mars with a laser
An illustration of Perseverance exploring Mars’ Jezero Crater.NASA/JPL-Caltech

Perseverance is NASA’s fifth and most sophisticated Mars rover. The agency beforehand geared up two Martian spacecraft with microphones: the Mars Polar Lander and the Phoenix lander. Nevertheless the mic on the used failed, and the latter by no means grew to develop to be on its microphone.

NASA’s InSight lander, which touched down on Mars in 2018, also enabled scientists to hear to the Martian wind, however in a diverse way. The lander is equipped with a seismometer to be aware Mars quakes, so the tool can also sense vibrations that wind causes as it gusts across InSight’s solar panels.

The low-pitch sounds of these vibrations are audible to the human ear.

Morgan McFall-Johnsen contributed reporting to this story.

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Hear to the snap, crackle, pop of NASA’s Perseverance rover zapping rocks on Mars with a laser