Blue Dot #237: Sounds From Mars and Exploring the Heliosphere
Host Dave Schlom talks to two scientists studying the solar system but in very different ways. First, he visits with Los Alamos National Laboratory planetary scientist Nina Lanza about the recent recordings made by the Perseverance Rover on Mars. Lanza is a science team member for the NASA/JPL rover's SuperCam instrument.
One of the cool things that Rover engineers and scientists did was to equip Perseverance with microphones to record the sounds from another world for the very first time. From wind to the crunching of the rover's wheels -- sounds on Mars sound, well, otherworldly!
In the second half of the show, Dave visits with Dave McComas, Princeton astrophysics professor and world-renowned expert on the heliosphere, the huge bubble of charged particles emanating from the Sun that surrounds and protects our planetary environment from high energy radiation coming from interstellar space.
McComas is the Principal Investigator for the upcoming IMAP (Interstellar Mapping And Acceleration Probe) that will study the boundary between the Sun's influence and that of our galactic neighborhood.