Trees in a Forest, Winds on Mars

Trees in a Forest, Winds on Mars

December 10, 2018 In the News

Is there sound if a tree falls in the forest but there is no one there to hear it?

It is time to modernize this question by asking if there is sound if wind blows on Mars and Elon has just not landed there yet.

Turns out NASA’s InSight lander is a nice surrogate for the symbolic human supposed to be there for sound to happen. It sent back sounds generated by Martian winds captured by its seismometer to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The winds appear to be blowing 10–15 mph and producing a very low frequency rumble. The engineers at JPL present the original recordings and then replay the sounds after frequency shifting them by a couple of octaves. The original sound should be audible in the video if heard through good-quality, closed-muff earphones or subwoofers. The shifted sounds are audible even through laptop speakers.

Not quite the sounds of silence, but close!!

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