NASA InSight hears 'haunting low rumble' on Mars

InSight is designed to study the interior of Mars like never before using seismology instruments to detect quakes and a self-hammering mole to measure heat escape from the planet's crust

InSight's solar panels appear in this image from Mars on December 7.

These vibrations were detected by an ultra-sensitive seismometer developed in the United Kingdom and an air pressure sensor sitting on the lander's deck.

The Nasa InSight lander captured a "haunting, low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind", which is the only audio that's ever been heard from the Red Planet.

You can hear the audio in the video above.

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"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said. The wind was estimated to be blowing 10 to 15 miles per hour from northwest to southeast, which matched the direction of dust devil streaks observed from another NASA spacecraft in orbit.

InSight science team member Tom Pike says the lander acts like a giant ear as the solar panels respond to the wind.

'It's like InSight is cupping its ears'.

NASA also released an audio track from InSight's air pressure sensor, with the data sped up by a factor of 100 to bring it into human hearing range. This robotic arm will soon come in handy when it's finally time for the spacecraft to deploy its SEIS seismometer and HP3 heat flow probe - "the only instruments ever to be robotically placed on the surface of another planet", notes NASA. That lander is scheduled to arrive on Mars in two years and will have microphones on board to record direct sounds, including the sound of the landing.

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