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  • rfaith
    just heard about this on the news: eta tomorrow/ sounds maybe from saturday http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/lidar/microphone/mic_found.html Once Mars Polar
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 1999
      just heard about this on the news:
      eta tomorrow/ sounds maybe from saturday

      http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/lidar/microphone/mic_found.html


      Once Mars Polar Lander touches down on Mars and starts beaming the Mars
      Microphone data to Earth, humankind will hear -- for the first time --
      sounds from the Red
      Planet.

      Will we hear anything on Mars? After all, the Martian atmosphere, which is
      mostly carbon
      dioxide, is about a hundred times thinner than Earth's -- effectively a
      vacuum compared
      to the air we breathe. Yet the tenuous Martian winds are substantial
      enough to sculpt
      dunes, entrain thin clouds, raise global dust storms, and even strike up
      miniature
      tornadoes called dust devils. This thin atmosphere will surely create and
      carry sounds.

      What kinds of sounds? Janet Luhman, who heads up the team that built the
      instrument
      at the University of California at Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory,
      expects the
      microphone to capture a variety of natural and artificial sounds. Luhman
      has pointed out that dust devils, gusts, and even lightning caused by dust
      storms should all be audible.

      The wind speeds inferred by the whistling spacecraft structure can be
      combined with the
      sound of dust grains hitting the sides of the spacecraft to investigate how
      it lifts
      different-sized grains. The microphone may also detect rare events such as
      sonic
      booms caused by meteors, and possibly infrasonic waves kicked up by the
      solar wind
      as it strikes the upper atmosphere. And the microphone will surely hear the
      daily sounds
      of the spacecraft itself.

      Thus this little microphone, operating over a span of weeks, will gradually
      build up a new
      dimension in our understanding of Mars. Greg Delory, also of the Space Sciences
      Laboratory, has pointed out that like most new instruments, the Mars
      microphone will probably detect things that take us completely by surprise.
      These surprises will most
      likely be the instrument's most important findings.

      This web page will present these findings as they come from the lander. You
      will be able
      to listen to these sounds of Mars on your computer using RealPlayer G2. Other
      sound-file formats will be made available later. Keep checking this web
      site for more
      details.

      +
      richard
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