Feeds

Euro satellite ‘heard’ Japanese megaquake in SPACE

Infrasound waves travelled 270 kilometers into the heavens

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The European Space Agency (ESA) is claiming a world first after releasing evidence that its GOCE gravity satellite picked up sound waves produced by the Sendai earthquake of March 2011.

The ESA explained that particularly large ‘quakes – like the magnitude 9.0 incident that hit Japan – cause the planet’s surface to vibrate, producing sound waves that travel upwards through the atmosphere.

Those waves have never before been recorded from the heavens, but as GOCE passed through the waves its accelerometers picked up “the vertical displacements of the surrounding atmosphere in a way similar to seismometers on the surface of Earth”, ESA said.

The satellite apparently also sensed “wave-like variations in air density”.

ESA said the size of sound waves produced by earthquakes increases from centimetres at the earth’s surface to kilometres in the thinner atmosphere at 200-300kms up, where the satellite orbits. At this height it’s only possible to monitor low frequency infrasound, it added.

GOCE satellite detects Japanese earthquake sound waves

It’s unclear why astro-boffins at the agency have only now discovered the sound waves, but now the precedent has been set there are hopes that satellites could help advance the study of earthquakes.

“Seismologists are particularly excited by this discovery because they were virtually the only Earth scientists without a space-based instrument directly comparable to those deployed on the ground,” said Raphael Garcia from the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology, in a canned statement.

“With this new tool they can start to look up into space to understand what is going on under their feet.”

GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer) was launched in 2009 to map the earth’s geoid by measuring minute changes in gravity.

Orbiting at just 270km up, it was designed to be extra streamlined to minimise the atmospheric drag at that height and uses electrically-powered British-built ion rockets to stay on course. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.