Tuesday, February 7, 2023

NASA captures the sound of a dust vortex on Mars

Cape Canaveral, Fla. ( Associated Press) – What does a dust devil sound like on Mars? The microphone on a NASA all-terrain vehicle was on when a tornado of red dust passed directly over it, recording sound.

The 10-second recording not only captured gusts of up to 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph), but also the sound of hundreds of dust particles impacting the firmament. Scientists released the first audio of its kind on Tuesday.

It looks like dust vortices on Earth, although it is much quieter because according to the researchers, the thin atmosphere of Mars makes it calmer and the winds are much less strong.

Naomi Murdoch, of the University of Toulouse and lead author of the study published in Nature Communications, said the dust devil has come and gone strongly over the past year, which is why the audio lasts a few seconds. At the same time, a navigation camera mounted on the parked rover captured images while its weather-monitoring instrument collected data.

Perseverance “got it perfectly,” said study co-author German Martinez of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.

Dust vortices, common on Mars, have been photographed for decades, but their sound has never been heard. It was within average range: at least 400 feet (118 m) high and 80 feet (25 m) wide, it traveled at a speed of 16 feet (5 m) per second.

The microphones picked up 308 dust signals as the vehicle passed by, said Murdoch, who helped build it.


The Associated Press Department of Health and Science is supported by the Department of Science and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Educational Media Group. Associated Press is solely responsible for all content.

Nation World News Desk
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