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What Sounds Will the Mars Microphone Record?

The Mars Microphone


LIDAR and Microphone Team


The Mars Microphone was designed to record whatever sounds there are on Mars, such as wind, dust, and electrical discharges in the Martian atmosphere as well as noises of the spacecraft itself. The microphone can be triggered randomly by naturally occurring sounds on Mars, or it can be programmed to listen for specific lander actions, such as when the arm digs in the soil.

Given that sound waves need an atmospheric medium through which to travel, many people are surprised to learn that any sounds at all can be heard on Mars. The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars is small, amounting to around 0.1 percent of the Earth’s sea level pressure. But even at Mars’ low pressure, acoustic signals within the frequency range of the human ear can be detected.

mic.logo.jpg And while the atmosphere of Mars is very different from Earth’s, consisting mostly of carbon dioxide, there are similarities between these environments that should make the sound data interesting and important.

Hear how some famous people might sound on Mars -- visit The Planetary Society's "Marsinator" page.

The Planetary Society's
A Celebration of Planetary Exploration

IKI, Russia's Space Research Institute

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