Red Silence

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Future communication in the Martian atmosphere will not be the same as that on Earth, according to a new study.

Scientists discovered that the speed of sound travels more slowly on the red planet while  “mostly, a deep silence prevails,” CNET reported.

Researchers used sound recordings from NASA’s Perseverance rover to calculate how sound travels on Mars and describe the planet’s soundscape.

The data from the rover’s SuperCam instrument showed that there are two sound speed limits on Mars: Low-pitched sounds travel at about 537 mph (240 meters per second) but higher-pitched sounds move at 559 mph (250 meters per second).

In comparison, the speed of sound on Earth is about 767 mph (343 meters per second).

The team explained that the slower speed is caused by the planet’s thin atmosphere, which is made up primarily of carbon dioxide. Mars’ atmosphere also muffles sound, which prevents high-pitched noise from traveling at all.

Still, the authors noted that the speed of sound could change depending on seasonal and temperature fluctuations on the planet.

They added that since the speed of sound is affected by temperature, they were able to measure large and rapid temperature changes on the Martian surface that other sensors had been unable to detect, according to Science Alert.

Click here to get a glimpse of how familiar Earth sounds change on the red planet.

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