A meteor leaves a trail over Russia on Feb. 15, 2013. With a monitoring array designed to detect nuclear tests, scientists have been able to estimate its size at around 10,000 tons. (Credit: Flickr user alexeya)

19 FEBRUARY 2013

Detecting nuclear explosions – plus meteors, tsunamis, and more

Posted by kramsayer

BOSTON — On 12 February, North Korea detonated a nuclear device beneath a remote mountain range – and scientists in Norway were able to pinpoint the blast’s location within hundreds of meters. Three days later, a meteor roared through Earth’s atmosphere above Russia – and researchers turned to the same monitoring network to estimate its weight of 10,000 tons.

It was a busy week for the seismometers, ocean-monitoring acoustic stations and other instruments associated with the preparatory commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization – or CTBTO – monitoring rogue nuclear tests worldwide. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Boston on Sunday, researchers showed that the 288-instrument CTBTO array can tackle scientific research as well as nuclear detective work.

Read more: Detecting nuclear explosions – plus meteors, tsunamis, and more – GeoSpace – AGU Blogosphere.

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