NASA is hearing ‘peculiar sounds’ on Mars

NASA’s InSight lander recorded the first-ever “Mars quake” in April. Nearly six months later, the lander has picked up more “peculiar sounds” on the Red Planet.

In an Oct. 1 blog post, NASA said that the lander’s seismometer, known as the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), is able to pick up subtle noises, including a breeze, as well as more Mars quakes.

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“It [Mars quake] had a surprisingly high-frequency seismic signal compared to what the science team has heard since then,” NASA wrote in the post. “Out of more than 100 events detected to date, about 21 are strongly considered to be quakes. The remainder could be quakes as well, but the science team hasn’t ruled out other causes.”

Clouds drift over the dome-covered seismometer, known as SEIS, belonging to NASA's InSight lander, on Mars. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Clouds drift over the dome-covered seismometer, known as SEIS, belonging to NASA’s InSight lander, on Mars. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The government agency added that SEIS has had no issues identifying the quakes, but because of how sensitive it is, it has to filter out a lot of background noise, while identifying different sounds.

“It’s been exciting, especially in the beginning, hearing the first vibrations from the lander,” said InSight science team member Constantinos Charalambous in the blog post.  “You’re imagining what’s really happening on Mars as InSight sits on the open landscape.”

NASA also added audio files, as well as a YouTube video, to the post, allowing listeners to hear the sounds being made on Mars.

InSight, which landed safely on the Red Planet in November after “seven minutes of terror” due to the agency’s inability to control the landing of the spacecraft, is continuing the scientific legacy of NASA’s Apollo missions.