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Listen to the Sounds of Mars for the First Time

Marion Charatan

Posted on December 8, 2018 14:35

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The space lander InSight sent images from Mars back to Earth on November 26-- and allowed us mortals to hear the first sounds of wind ever recorded from our distant neighbor.

The prolific and perceptive David Bowie asked the question back in 1971 in his hit, "Is there life on Mars?’" Apparently there is in some forms. NASA’s (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) success with InSight's mission to Mars this November 26 is nothing short of amazing! And it was thrilling to listen to a recording of the very first sounds ever heard from Mars.

I’m a radio person and have been drawn to audio since I was a kid. It started with my Dad collecting ham radios. We listened to broadcasts from all over the world in Dad's office. 

But I never thought, in my lifetime, I’d be able to listen to wind coming from another planet!

It’s fascinating to think about what’s beyond our world.  In fact, seeing the original ‘Invaders from Mars’ as a child terrified me. After the film, I had nightmares about aliens drilling holes into my neck.

Visions of aliens abound in literature, art and film. Aliens always seemed to have huge bug eyes and cone-shaped heads too big for their bodies. 

Fantasy blurs reality with this recent landing on Mars. I was captivated listening to the sound of winds on Mars.

Is there or has there been life on Mars similar to what we have on Earth? Scientists have been pondering this question about the Red Planet-- fourth in line from the sun-- and researching it for a long time. 

A picture taken by the rover Curiosity and released in August of this year raised eyebrows about life on Mars.

Two published studies in the journal Science detail how organic material from rocks estimated to be 3.5 billion years old along with seasonal changes in methane were discovered on Mars.

Scientist Chris Webster from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the lead author of the methane paper—said the rover was “undoubtedly the most sophisticated chemistry lab ever sent outside planet Earth.”

Furthermore, scientists concluded the smells emoting from particles from the rock bed were unlike anything we have on Earth. A theory developed that there could possibly have been life on Mars in the past. It will take time, but the delivery of more space probes and telescopes  in future missions will help to find the answers to these mystifying questions.

NASA scientists have learned that Mars does not get hit by a lot of radiation and isn’t as wet as Earth. Our planetary neighbor isn’t affected by plate tectonics like we are-- the shifting plates that can cause earthquakes. So, with these factors, organic matter recently discovered would have a better chance to survive.

Captivating stuff. I can’t wait to hear about the next discovery in NASA’s endeavors. I believe the ethereal David Bowie would be relieved to know there could be something beyond the harshness of our reality here on Earth.

Marion Charatan

Posted on December 8, 2018 14:35

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