NASA’s InSight records the sound of a Martian impact

Click here for animation

Figure A – Click here for audio file

This video includes a seismogram and sonification of signals recorded by NASA’s InSight Mars lander, which detected a giant meteoroid strike on December 24, 2021, the 1,094th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.

InSight’s seismometer records seismic signals that are beyond human hearing. In order to make the signals audible, the data was accelerated 100 times.

Figure A is a standalone audio file of signal sonification.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages InSight for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery program, operated by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruiser stage and lander, and is supporting spacecraft operations for the mission.

Several European partners, including the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), support the InSight mission. CNES supplied the SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) instrument to NASA, whose principal researcher is IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris). Important contributions to SEIS have come from the IPGP; the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany; the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) in Switzerland; Imperial College London and the University of Oxford in the UK; and JPL. The DLR provided the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instrument, with significant contributions from the Center for Space Research (CBK) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. The Spanish Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) provided the temperature and wind sensors.

For more information on the mission, go to

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