The first audio recorded on Mars shows two speeds of sound

Paris: First audio recording continues Mars Scientists said on Friday that a silent planet with frequent gusts of wind would have a strange delayed effect on hearing two different speeds of sound.
After NASA’s Perseverance Rover landed on Mars in February last year, its two microphones began recording, allowing scientists to hear for the first time what it looks like on a red planet.
In a study published in the journal Nature on Friday, scientists gave their first analysis of a five-hour sound taken by a perceptive microphone.
The audio previously revealed an undisclosed disturbance on Mars, said Sylvester Maurice, lead author of the study and scientific co-director of the showbox-sized supercam mounted on the rover’s mast with the main microphone.
The international team heard the flights via a small ingenuity helicopter, a sister craft for perseverance, and rover laser zap rocks to study their chemical composition – which sounded “clockwise”, Morris told AFP.
“We had a very local sound source between two and five meters (six to 16 meters) from its target, and we knew exactly when it would catch fire,” he said.
Studies have confirmed for the first time that the speed of sound on Mars is slower, traveling at a speed of 240 meters per second compared to Earth’s 340 meters per second.
This was expected because Mars’ atmosphere is 95 percent carbon dioxide – compared to 0.04 percent of Earth’s – and about 100 times thinner, weakening sound by 20 decibels, the study said.
But scientists were surprised when the sound made by the laser took 250 meters per second – 10 meters faster than expected.
“I’m a little nervous,” Morris said. “I told myself one of the two measurements was wrong because you have only one sound motion on earth.”
They discovered that there are two speeds of sound on the surface of Mars – one for a loud sound like a laser beam and the other for a low frequency like the whirr of a helicopter rotor.
This means that the human ear will hear louder sounds slightly earlier.
“On Earth, the sounds of an orchestra reach you at the same speed, whether it’s low or high. But imagine on Mars, if you’re a little bit off the stage, there’s going to be a big delay,” Morris said.
“All of these factors will make it difficult for two people to communicate at a distance of only five meters (16 feet),” the French CNRS research institute said in a statement.
Otherwise it was so quiet on Mars that scientists often feared something would go wrong, CNRS said, possibly provoking memories of two previous failed attempts to record sound there in 1999 and 2008.
“With the exception of wind, there are few natural sound sources,” the scientists said in a statement attached to the study.
The microphones made numerous “scratch” and “clink” sounds as the rover’s metal wheels interacted with rocks, the study said.
Recording can also warn of problems with the rover – such as how drivers realize something went wrong when their car starts making strange noises.
Maurice said he felt the “scientific gamble” of carrying a microphone to Mars was successful.
Thierry Fouche of the Paris Observatory, who was also involved in the research, said that listening to vertical wind-like turbulence known as convection plumes would “allow us to refine our numerical model for climate and weather forecasting”.
Future missions to Venus or Saturn’s moon Titan may also now be equipped with a microphone.
And perseverance is far from deceptive. While its core mission lasts only two years, it can continue to function well beyond that – the Curiosity rover is still going through nine years of planned two-year tenure.


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