Up close with Mars: the NASA InSight lander reveals that the seismometer is crouched & # 39; to hear sounds
NASA's InSight lander leans in to listen better to Mars's underground tremors.
The robot explorer placed his seismometer on the surface at the end of last month and is now approaching for a better connection with Mars.
This will help his instruments to catch weaker signals that might otherwise have been missed.
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NASA's InSight lander leans in to listen better to Mars's underground tremors. The robotic explorer placed his seismometer on the surface at the end of last month and is now closer to & # 39; for a better connection with Mars. & # 39; Before and after images, the instrument still shows its instrument at the lowest position
Days before, InSight leveled its seismometer and adjusted the internal sensors before everything was taken to the ground.
& # 39; It is always good to be centered and in balance & # 39 ;, the InSight twitter account shared.
The lander has also released the slack in the cable to prevent him from flying in the wind.
NASA now says that the instruments have so far been positioned at the lowest point for the best possible listening opportunity.
& # 39; My seismometer is now crouched to the lowest level, for better connection with Mars & # 39 ;, wrote the InSight Twitter account this week. Blurred signals are easier to hear if you keep your ears close to the ground. & # 39;
The InSight lander put his first instrument on the surface of Mars at the end of December.
Images of the lander show the seismometer on the ground after it has been lifted onto the surface by the robotic arm of the lander.
It will record the waves traveling through the inner structure of the planet, and could help to explain mysterious & # 39; marsquakes & # 39; of which scientists believe that they occur regularly.
Back then, NASA said that the war against the lander performed flawlessly, and he was ahead of schedule.
New images of the lander show the seismometer on the ground after it has been lifted onto the surface by the robotic arm of the lander. It will record the waves traveling through the inner structure of the planet, and could help to explain mysterious & # 39; marsquakes & # 39; of which scientists believe that they occur regularly. This was the first time that a scientific instrument had ever been placed on the surface of another planet.
WHAT WILL THE SEISMOMETER DO?
The seismometer allows scientists to peer into the interior of Mars by studying ground movement – also known as marsquakes.
Each marsquake acts as a kind of flash lamp that illuminates the structure of the planet's interior.
By analyzing how seismic waves pass through the layers of the planet, scientists can deduce the depth and composition of these layers.
& # 39; The schedule for activities of InSight on Mars is better than we had hoped & # 39 ;, says InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman, who is based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA in Pasadena, California.
• Getting the seismometer safely on the ground is a great Christmas present. & # 39;
The InSight team has worked on the deployment of the two special scientific instruments on Mars ground since the landing on Mars on 26 November.
In order to use the seismometer (also known as the seismic experiment for inner structure, or SEIS) and the heat probe (also known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe or HP3), the engineers first had to check the robot arm that picks up and places the instruments from InSight on the surface of Mars in the right way.
Engineers tested the commands for the lander and ensured that a model in the test bed at JPL used the instruments exactly as intended.
Scientists also had to analyze images of the Mars site around the lander to find out where the instruments could best be used.
On Tuesday, December 18, InSight technicians sent the orders to the spacecraft.
On Wednesday, December 19, the seismometer was placed gently on the ground directly in front of the lander, about as far away as the arm can reach – 5,367 feet (1,636 meters).
"The deployment of seismometers is just as important as the landing of InSight on Mars," said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, based at JPL.
The seismometer is the highest priority tool on InSight: we need to achieve about three-quarters of our scientific objectives. & # 39;
The & # 39; Martian rock garden & # 39; who built it in a warehouse in Pasadena to test his InSight rover engineers in practice using InSight instruments in a laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Some of them wear sunglasses to block the bright yellow lights in the test room, which mimic the sunlight as it looks on Mars.
The seismometer allows scientists to peer into the interior of Mars by studying ground movement – also known as marsquakes.
& # 39; With the seismometer on the ground it's like holding a phone to your ear & # 39 ;, says Philippe Lognonné, principal investigator of SEIS at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) and Paris Diderot University.
We are glad that we are now in the best position to listen to all seismic waves from below the surface of Mars and from the deep interior. & # 39;
In the coming days, the InSight team will work on leveling the seismometer, which is on a ground that is tilted 2 to 3 degrees.
The first seismometer scientific data must flow back to earth after the seismometer is in the correct position.
THE THREE KEY INSTRUMENTS OF INSIGHT
The lander who could reveal how the earth was formed: InSight lander deposited Mars on 26 November
The InSight Lander & # 39; can take the pulse with three important instruments & # 39; from the red planet:
seismometer: The InSight lander wears one seismometer, SEIS, that listens to the pulse of Mars.
The seismometer records the waves traveling through the inner structure of a planet.
Studying seismic waves tells us what the waves could be.
On Mars scientists suspect that the culprits might be marsquakes or that meteorites fall on the surface.
Heat probe: The InSight heat pump probe, HP3, rakes deeper than other scoops, drills or probes on Mars.
It will investigate how much heat still flows from Mars.
Radio antennas: Like the earth, Mars wobbles a bit when it rotates around its axis.
To study this, two radio antennas, part of the RISE instrument, closely follow the location of the lander.
This helps scientists test the planet's reflexes and tells them how the deep inner structure affects the movement of the planet around the sun.
We look forward to getting some champagne to burst when we start getting data from the InSight seismometer on the ground, & # 39; Banerdt added.
I have a bottle ready for the occasion. & # 39;
Meanwhile, the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), which does not have its own instrument, has already begun using InSight's radio link to the earth to collect preliminary data about the planet's core.
Not enough time has passed for scientists to deduce what they want to know – scientists estimate that they can have results in about a year.
This image shows some of the instruments that are visible in the selfie image that was sent to Earth by InSight early Tuesday morning.
NASA recently also determined the exact landing location of its new Mars explorer, thanks to a powerful camera on its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
While the space agency knew that InSight had landed within an 81-mile-long (130 km) ellipse on the red planet, there was no way to determine exactly where it was touched in this region.
Now a series of images made this week by MRO's HiRISE camera has confirmed that the lander, the heat shield and the parachute are all less than 1000 feet apart on a lava plane called Elysium Planitia.
NASA has finally determined the exact landing site of its new Mars explorer, thanks to a powerful camera on its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While the space agency knew that InSight had landed within an 81-mile-long (130 km) ellipse on the red planet, there was no way to determine exactly where it was hit in this region
In the images released today by NASA, InSight and its parts appear as bright green-blue spots on rust-colored landscapes.
But in reality this is only a trick of light.
"Light reflected from their surfaces ensures that the color is saturated", explains NASA.
& # 39; The land around the lander seems dark and has been destroyed during the descent through its retrorockets. Look carefully at a butterfly shape and you can distinguish the solar panels of the lander on both sides. & # 39;
Only a few days ago NASA's new InSight lander broke his first selfie from the red planet, allowing the mission team (and the rest of the world) to view its solar panels and deck well now that it has been settled.
InSight has also returned the first full view of the 14-by-7-foot piece of land that will soon be serving as a & # 39; workspace & # 39;
In the images released today by NASA, InSight and its parts appear as bright green-blue spots on rust-colored landscapes. But in reality this is only a trick of light
A series of images made this week by the MRO HiRISE camera confirmed that the lander (red dot), the heat shield and the parachute are all less than 1000 feet apart on a lava plane called Elysium Planitia. Previously, the space agency only knew that they had landed in an 81-mile ellipse (blue)
Each of the new images is a mosaic of several photos nailed together.
While the selfie captured by the robot arm consists of 11 photos, the workspace view contains 52 individual photos.
This allows scientists to take a good look at the area before InSight puts down its instruments and digs them into the ground.
"The near-absence of rocks, hills and holes means that it is extremely safe for our instruments", said InSight & # 39; s lead researcher Bruce Banerdt of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
& # 39; This may seem like a pretty simple piece of land if it was not on Mars, but we're happy to see that. & # 39;
NASA has confirmed the landing sites for InSight, the parachute and other components thanks to new images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
InSight has previously returned the first complete representation of the 14-by-7-foot piece of land that will soon be serving as a & # 39; workspace & # 39 ;, indicated in the blue crescent. The team says it's extremely safe & # 39; looks. The parachute, the back cover and the heat shield landed about 1000 feet away
Even Mars robots behave occasionally as tourists. NASA & # 39; s new InSight-lander broke off his first selfie from the red planet, so the mission team (and the rest of the world) watched its solar panels and deck well now that it's settled in
In the past week, InSight returned the first of its observations – including a clip of light that falls over the surface and photographs of Marswinden.
All this comes as the lander and the team behind his operations prepare to start work in the coming months.
For now, however, InSight takes small steps.
The lander has bent his 6-meter-long arm this week and made photos of the terrain right in front of it.
& # 39; By carefully swinging my arm in front of me, I start looking for myself to the ground where I am going to do my work & # 39 ;, tweet the NASA InSight account.
"Meanwhile, somewhat hypnotized by the play of light and shadow on my arm.
The data collected by InSight & # 39; s Seismic Experiment for Domestic Structure (SEIS) in the months before it landed on the ground will eventually be used to neutralize background noise since it works to detect marsquakes
A few days earlier, NASA revealed that the InSight lander had captured the sound of a Mars dust devil during the first days on the red planet.
According to the space agency, this is the first time we have heard Martian winds.
The low rumbling detected by InSight's sensors is estimated to range between 10 and 15 mph (5 to 7 meters per second) from northwest to southeast and the recordings are within reach of human hearing.
NASA says that the sounds recorded on December 1 are lined up with dust devilish stripes observed in the landing area.
The vibrations were recorded with a very low pitch, although those with sharp ears can hear it as it is, using headphones or subwoofers.
To make it clearer, NASA increased the pitch by two octaves, making it audible on laptops and mobile devices.
The space agency shared a series of high-resolution photos that were created this week. InSight quickly begins with right-handed images of the terrain before it, so the team can select the best location to go down. The solar panel that will supply power to the machine is shown
Although InSight was not specifically intended to include the winds of Mars, the team says that this type of data collection belongs to the territory.
The lander discovered wind vibrations with two of his sensors: one designed to measure air pressure and a seismometer on the deck.
"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", says Bruce Banerdt, Chief Inspector of InSight at Jet Propulsion Lab of NASA.
& # 39; But one of the things our mission is focused on is measuring motion on Mars, and of course that includes movement caused by sound waves. & # 39;
According to the InSight team, the two different instruments recorded the sound in different ways.
While the air pressure sensor of the auxiliary charging sensor subsystem recorded the vibrations directly, the seismometer absorbed vibrations because the wind passed over the solar panels of the lander.
The data collected by InSight & # 39; s Seismic Experiment for Domestic Structure (SEIS) in the months before it shifts to the ground will eventually be used to neutralize background noise as it works to detect marsquakes.
The short-term silicon sensors (SP) can detect vibrations with frequencies up to 50 hertz, which is on the lower range of human hearing, NASA says.
The InSight Lander behaves like a gigantic ear, says Tom Pike, InSight Science team member and sensor, designed at Imperial College in London.
The solar panels on the lander side respond to pressure fluctuations of the wind.
It is as if InSight is forming its ears and the Marswind is knocking. When we looked at the direction of the vibrations of the landers from the solar panels, it corresponds to the expected wind direction on our landing site. & # 39;
InSight gets into a region known as Elysium Planitia. The location can be seen on the map above, not far from the landing site of the Curiosity mission of 2012, the last NASA probe to land on Mars.
NASA & # 39; s InSight-lander has finally removed the lens cover from its camera, so the robotic explorer can make his clearest photo's so far from his new home
The team has released both a raw, unmodified audio sample from the seismometer recording and a second version that has been raised two octaves to make it easier to hear.
For the latter, the APSS sample was accelerated by a factor of 100.
According to the experts, the source of the sound is fairly simple; vibrations detected by the instruments are very similar to the changes in air pressure that you hear when a flag swings around in the wind.
That's literally what sound is – changes in barometric pressure & # 39 ;, said Don Insider's Science Lead for APSS from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
& # 39; You hear that when you talk to someone around the room. & # 39;