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Play this song to hear the sound of space rocks hitting Mars

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In Science and Space: What does it look like when a space rock hits the surface of Mars? The answer is “bloop,” according to NASA’s InSight lander. Its earthquake-hunting seismometer captured a series of meteorites impacting Mars in 2020 and 2021.

“After three years of waiting for InSight to detect the impact, these craters have turned out to be stunning,” said Ingrid Daubar, planetary scientist and co-author of the study. NASA-JPL shared an interesting video of what InSight heard in September 2021, recounting the time the meteorite entered the atmosphere, exploded into pieces and fell to the ground. “This meteor impact sounds like a ‘blob’ due to a specific atmospheric effect that is heard when low-pitched sounds precede high-pitched sounds,” JPL said.

InSight’s impacts and findings are the subject of a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience. “These are not only the first impacts detected by the spacecraft’s seismometer since InSight landed on the Red Planet in 2018, but also the first,” NASA said in a statement. seismic and acoustic waves from a collision detected on Mars”. The first (and most spectacular) detection scientists noticed was on September 5, 2021. InSight captured seismic waves from a rock that exploded into at least three parts, each to traces in the form of a crater. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) verified the impact site and discovered craters, confirming the source of the waves the lander’s seismometer “heard”.

A look back at the InSight data revealed three more meteor impact detections. Mars is known for having a lot of space rocks, so scientists wonder why InSight has only noticed a few. “The InSight team suspects other effects may be masked by wind noise or seasonal changes in the atmosphere,” NASA said. The hunt for collision detection isn’t over yet. The researchers will continue to dig into the lander’s data to learn more.

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