Picture meteroids epically crashing into Mars and one would imagine its impact to be deafening. Yet, NASA just released the first audio it captured from such collisions, and what was it that we heard— “bloop”?
NASA’s InSight lander took the recording at the time of the crash, on September 5, 2021. The comic sound of the impact is apparently due to an atmospheric effect that distorts the sound.
Three distinct “bloops” can be heard in the video (which was probably animated to match the audio).
The first is when a meteor breaches the Red Planet’s atmosphere. The next is when it begins to disintegrate, and the last is the actual sound of the hit.
This reverberation marks the first time sound has been recorded on the planet by InSight’s seismometer since the rover touched down in 2018. Not only that, but this will be the first time acoustic waves have been detected on Mars as well.
A total of four strikes were recorded on the planet. After the sounds were detected, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter headed over to the crash site to snap pictures of the craters each meteor had left behind.
The images’ blue areas highlight the impact points that the comets caused. The renders were caught on the team’s High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera, also known as the HiRISE camera.
You may wonder why such a recording has taken so long to be revealed. According to NASA, the team suspects that other audio of crashes could have been obscured by sounds of high winds or seasonal changes in the atmosphere.
But now that the explorers have better insight into what a collision on Mars sounds like, they feel there may be more recordings to be unearthed from four years’ worth of data from InSight.