The Perseverance rover captured the imagination of the world when it recorded sounds from the surface of Mars. It recorded the sounds of the wind on Mars, as well as the noises it made, and it even captured the sounds of the Ingenuity helicopter in action. Scientists analyzed the recordings and found that the speed of sound on Mars is dependent on the pitch of the sound.
Scientists were unsure if it would be possible to record sounds on Mars because of the thin atmosphere. The atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide, which absorbs sound waves. The fact that the microphones on Perseverance were able to record Ingenuity from a distance of 80 meters was a surprise.
The recordings which are available tend to be quiet because of low atmospheric pressure.
The study found that the speed of sound on Mars is variable. The speed of sound on Earth is 767 mph. The sound travels at 537 mph on Mars, but higher-pitched sounds travel at 559 mph. The thin, cold atmosphere seems to be the reason for this.
The sounds of puffs of air from the Gaseous Dust removal tool and the sounds of a laser hitting a rock were recorded using Perseverance's two microphones. The science work uses the SuperCam microphone.
The microphone is now used several times a day and performs extremely well; its overall performance is better than what we had modeled and even tested in a Mars-like environment on Earth.
Sylvestre Maurice, an astronomer, said that the viability of researching sounds on Mars opens new avenues of research.