Mars the Mysterious (NASA, 1997)

NASA Reveals That Sound on Mars Travels at Two Speeds

Following the recording of noises by the Mars Perseverance rover’s microphone, which is scheduled to launch in 2020, scientists conducted an analysis of the audio.

The first five hours of noises gathered by the rover were published on April 1 in the Nature magazine, indicating that sound travels more slowly and travels a shorter distance on Mars than it does on Earth, owing to “the thin, chilly, carbon dioxide atmosphere” that exists there.

“The crackling strike of a rock-zapping laser” and “the swish of rotors” from the Mars chopper Ingenuity were among the other sounds heard throughout the mission.

There was also a delay effect in the recordings from Mars, which experts stated was due to the fact that the sounds travel at two separate rates, one for high-pitched sounds and another for lower frequencies.

“On Earth, sounds travel at an average speed of 767 miles per hour” (343 meters per second). NASA explains that “on Mars, low-pitched noises travel at around 537 mph (240 meters per second), whereas higher-pitched sounds travel at approximately 559 mph (250 meters per second).”

Hear some of the sounds caught by NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover in the video below.