Perseverance sends other sounds from Mars

Perseverance sends other sounds from Mars

After the first images (including some panoramas) and the first audio recording, Perseverance sent out more sounds of Mars, including the noise generated by the laser hitting a rock. This was possible thanks to the SuperCam mounted on the top of the rover.

SuperCam: remote geological analysis

The first image taken by the SuperCam is the one shown at the beginning of the article. Máaz (which in the Navajo language means Mars) is the first rock analyzed using the laser and the spectrometer of the SuperCam. The laser can strike the surface of Mars from a distance of over 7 meters. The rock is vaporized and the spectrometer allows to detect its composition.

The Máaz rock has been hit 30 times by the laser from a distance of about 3 meters and the spectrometer has detected a basaltic composition (mainly magnesium and iron ). The SuperCam is also equipped with a microphone that records the sound generated by the laser when it hits the rock. This is additional information that allows you to identify the chemical composition (the sound varies according to the hardness of the surface).

This is the audio recording of the laser striking Máaz:

NASA · First Acoustic Recording of Laser Shots on Mars The SuperCam can therefore be considered a space geological laboratory. The use of a microphone for audio recording is not an absolute novelty, as it was also present on the Mars Polar Lander (mission failed) and on the Phoenix Mars Lander (microphone never activated). Scientists hope that the instrumentation aboard the rover will allow them to identify traces of past life (billions of years ago).

Source: NASA