NASA’s Mars Weather Station InSight detects an inexplicable infrasound

Feb 19, 2019, 9:30 pm

Bipasha M.

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NASA’s first 24-hour Mars weather station has detected infrasound which has successfully bewildered the scientists because they are unable to determine as to what kind of sound that is. The infrasound which was detected was very low-frequency as is the case with any infrasound. The low-frequency which is the characteristic of infrasound, lie several octaves below the human range of hearing. However, this particular infrasound piqued the interests of the scientists because the amplitude of this infrasound was bigger than any other normal infrasound as was revealed by InSight’s science lead for its auxiliary payload sensor subsystem, Banfield.

According to the planetary scientist of Cornell University, the infrasound was detected about 72-hours ago when it was swiping past a suite of detectors on the InSight Mission lander. Banfield also mentioned that the sound could have been heard rolling through at a period of one-hundredth of a hertz, over a period of 100 seconds if one was equipped enough.

It is not 100% clear yet as to the source of the infrasound. As a result, we only have the speculations articulated by scientists to rely on currently. Banfield has voiced a couple of reasons as to identifying the source of the sound. According to Banfield, a meteor might have crashed into Mars’ atmosphere giving birth to the sound; or it could be caused by some sort of airflow over an underlying stable local atmosphere or even a landslide could have been the cause for this infrasound.

However, he is not yet sure as to the distance of the source of the sound but he is optimistic about the fact that the insight team might be able to determine the distance of the source once they have done further analysis. The InSight lander which currently resides in the north of the Martian equator on the plains of Elysium Planitia arrived in November on a two-year mission to probe Mars’ deep interior and measure the planet’s interior heat flow.

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