We know the speed of sound on Mars, which is very different from Earth

We know the speed of sound on Mars, which is very different from Earth

The speed of sound is slower on Mars than on Earth, and has some odd properties above it.

It will be impossible for you to progress March An integrated, telecommunications system, essentially, without accepting a combination. But if you can talk Planet Red without suffocation, your voice and the voice of your speakers will sound like you do not know the earth. It would be even weirder. Questioned, Very different speeds of sound.

Presented by a research team during the 2022 edition of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held from March 7 to 11 this year. A new research article In which the speed of sound on Mars is accurately measured. On the red planet, the sound progresses 240 meters per second.

A karaoke on Mars, it’s going wrong

The sound is very different from environment to environment. Temperature, altitude, materials, all of these are properties that influence the nature of sound. Thus, in our atmosphere, below 20 degrees Celsius, sound travels in air at 343 m / s (meters per second). Underwater, it has an average velocity of 1,481 m / s because fewer elements will slow down there. In iron, its velocity is more than 5,000 m / s Get this, in a diamond, the speed of sound can go up to 12,000 m / s.

Why is it so different from water, iron or diamond? One of the keys should be found in the density of the medium: the sound passes through the density, and it progresses rapidly. However, the atmosphere of Mars will become much thinner than that of Earth. This is one of the definitive explanations for the slow overall sound propagation speed.

We know the speed of sound on Mars, which is very different from Earth
This movie is a montage because the diligent rover could not stream the music (unfortunately). // Source: Description of the Perseverance Rover

But the red planet has other peculiarities that influence the behavior of sound. Carbon dioxide molecules, under low pressure, have properties Unique It affects sound waves within audible frequencies. As a result, on Mars, frequencies above 240 Hz travel faster than lower frequencies. Clearly, high-pitched sounds precede low-pitched sounds. ” This will trigger a unique listening experience on Mars “, The researchers said.


Screenshot of the NASA video broadcasting the first sound on Mars // Source: YouTube / NASA

Thanks Percy!

These measurements are carried out by the Mars rover Diligence – Nickname for Percy. It carries SuperCam microphones with it (A French tool), Which activates To hear the sounds of Mars. But there are also lasers that can trigger noise. The study team therefore measured the time elapsed between the laser shot and the arrival of sound into the microphone.

We know the speed of sound on Mars, which is very different from Earth
To measure the speed of sound, the noise produced by the laser is measured. // Source: Graphic given in the study

The speed of sound recovered by this technique is calculated over the entire transmission path from the floor to the height of the microphone.

Although the difference in the speed of sound was already known to Mars and estimated to be 240 m / s from what was known about the planet, Percy’s instruments allowed for more accurate stabilization by field measurements.


Artist Views on Perseverance and Insight on Mars.  // Source: Left: CNES / VR2Planet, 2021;  Right: NASA / JBL Caltech, 2018 (Numerama Montage)

Explore the red planet with the task March 2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *