NASA rover captures sound of huge dust storm on Mars for the first time (video)

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NASA rover recorded the sound of a huge dust storm on Mars for the first time (video)

A dust whirlwind swept right over the Perseverance rover, giving it new insights into what's happening on the Red Planet.

dust vortex 117 meters high. This allowed scientists to determine the physical characteristics of this phenomenon, which also appears on Earth, writes Gizmodo.

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NASA spacecraft witnessed a dust whirlwind in September last year, but scientists published their study regarding this event only on December 13 2022. According to NASA, the rover not only made an audio recording of what this vortex filled with solid dust particles sounds like, but also took pictures of the vortex. Now, thanks to the data obtained, you can hear the sound of a dust storm, as well as see what it looks like.

NASA rover first recorded the sound of a huge dust storm on Mars (video)

NASA rover first recorded the sound of a huge dust storm on Mars (video)

According to Naomi Murdock, the study's author, the microphone on the rover's camera was installed on purpose so that more data could be obtained about the geological exploration process on Mars. In particular, the sound of a laser was recorded, with which the device penetrated into the rocks. But at the same time, scientists assumed that using this microphone it would be possible to obtain sound data during studies of the Martian atmosphere. Actually, these hopes were justified.

It will soon be two years since the Perseverance rover landed in Lake Jezero Crater to collect local rock samples in the hope of finding signs of extraterrestrial life. Scientists believe that this crater was filled with water billions of years ago, which means that primitive life in the form of microorganisms could exist here. All the while, the spacecraft has been using a laser to determine the chemical composition of rocks, collecting rock samples to be sent to Earth as early as the early 2030s, and taking pictures of the surface of Mars. And of course, with the help of its microphone on one of the cameras, the Perseverance rover recorded environmental sounds.

Now in the crater Lake, which is a desert area, strong winds often blow. They contribute to the appearance of dust whirlwinds that carry solid particles over long distances. Thanks to new data, scientists were able to get more information about this phenomenon, which can threaten the operation of Martian vehicles, because this dust can get on solar panels or damage devices. Although the Perseverance rover is more protected from such threats than, for example, the Insight apparatus, which practically failed, as Focus already wrote.

“With this recording, we were able to hear not only the sound of the dust whirlwind, but also hundreds of impacts of solid particles on the rover. We have data on the process of dust lifting and transport, and we can understand the conditions under which such lifting occurs, “says Murdoch.

The study showed that the dust whirlwind on Mars had a diameter of 24 meters and a height of 117 meters. It took the whirlwind just 8 seconds to fly over the rover.

The most interesting thing is that the Insight spacecraft, which is located in another part of Mars, has never observed such dust whirlwinds during its work. That is, they were present, but none of them raised such an amount of dust into the atmosphere.

Focus already wrote that Perseverance's “partner”, the Martian helicopter Ingenuity, set a new record flight altitude.