Perseverance has been exploring the surface of Mars for several months now, encountering tons of interesting things. While many are excited about the prospects the Mars sample return will yield, a new video shared along with a paper has astronomers gasping as footage from September of 2021 shows Perseverance being slammed by a Martian dust devil.
What’s even more enticing about the footage is that Perseverance was also able to capture audio of the encounter. The video, which is available on Nature’s YouTube channel, showcases the eerie silence of the Martian surface. That silence is quickly cut off, though, as the sound of wind ripping around the microphone can be heard.
This sound is the wind generated by a Martian dust devil as it speeds across the surface of the Red Planet. It’s an intriguing sound because it is exactly what you would expect from such a natural occurrence, even here on Earth. While not surprising to astronomers, it just continues to show how similar these occurrences on Mars are to those on Earth.
For example, the Insight Lander, which is currently in the last throes of dying, was sent to Mars to study marsquakes, which are essentially just earthquakes that take place on Mars. And, with the belief that early organisms caused climate change on Mars, it would make sense for the Red Planet to have suffered from other natural occurrences beyond just Martian dust devils.
Because many believe that water once covered the surface of Mars, similar to how it covers Earth, it’s possible that hurricanes and other natural weather occurrences like that also plagued the planet in its earliest days. Of course, we can’t know for sure, as the Martian surface is now just a cold and barren wasteland.
Hearing this audio of the Martian dust devil still has many, myself included, excited about the exploration efforts being made on the Red Planet. Perseverance continues to discover new things and capture new things about our neighboring planet. Just earlier this year, NASA shared audio of a meteorite hitting the Martian surface, another fantastic audio capture.
A paper on the audio of the Martian dust devil is now available in Nature, for those who want to dig deeper into the capture.