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NASA releases the sound of space rocks colliding on Mars;  listen |  Sciences

NASA releases the sound of space rocks colliding on Mars; listen | Sciences

The NASAThis week, the US space agency released the sound of the impact of space rocks on Mars (See the video above).

The sound was detected by the Insight spacecraft, whose mission is to study the “inner space” of Mars: its crust, mantle and core. The probe arrived at the Red Planet in 2018, and its instruments allow it to detect various seismic activities inside the planet..

Scientists believe the noise was caused by a series of impacts in September 2021, when a meteorite (fragments of space rock) It entered the Martian atmosphere and exploded into at least three fragments, leaving a crater behind.

A satellite orbiting the Red Planet has also confirmed drilling sites, 290 kilometers from the probe, in an area called Elysium Planitia. (See image below).

The space agency also explains that the distinctive sound of the collision, which sounds a bit like a metal plate in the wind here on Earth, is due to a planet’s own atmospheric effect, which distorts the bass and treble.

An image released by NASA shows impact craters. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

“After three years of waiting for InSight to discover an impact, these craters looked beautiful,” said Ingrid Dubar of Brown University, a research co-author and expert on impacts on Mars, in a statement.

NASA further explains that images of the crater provide scientists with important clues about the Red Planet’s past and internal structure, as scientists can approximate the age of the planet’s surface by calculating its impact craters: the more they appear, the older the star’s surface.

“The effects are like clocks in the solar system,” said lead author Rafael Garcia of the Higher Institute of Space and Effects in Toulouse, France. “We need to know the impact rate today to estimate the age of the different surfaces.”

The InSight mission team also suspects that other effects may have been masked by wind noise or seasonal changes in the Martian atmosphere, but they are now hopeful that more discoveries will emerge before the probe finishes its mission.

The space agency’s engineers believe that the probe may close between October of this year and January 2023.

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