Humans can now hear the haunting, low rumble of wind on Mars for the first time, after Nasa's InSight lander captured vibrations from the breeze on the Red Planet, the US space agency said Friday.
The strong gusts of wind, blowing between 10 to 15 mph (five to seven meters a second), were captured as they moved over the solar panels on InSight, an unmanned lander that touched down on Earth's dusty, desolate neighbor November 26.
Two sensors picked up the vibrations: an air pressure sensor inside the lander and a seismometer on the lander's deck, awaiting to be deployed to the surface by InSight's robotic arm.
"This is the very first fifteen minutes of data that have come from the short period seismometer," said Thomas Pike, lead investigator at Imperial College London, during a conference call with reporters.
"It's a little like a flag waving in the wind," he added. "It really sounds otherworldly, and that is exactly what it is."
InSight is designed to study the interior of Mars like never before, using seismology instruments to detect quakes and a self-hammering mole to measure heat escape from the planet's crust.
An audio track of the Martian wind is available on www.nasa.gov/insightmarswind.