Nuclear Test Watchdog Picks Up Shock Waves From Russian Meteor In Greenland

By Newsroom America Staff at 15 Feb 2013

(Newsroom America) -- As many as 11 infrasound stations in the CTBTO’s International Monitoring system recorded the infrasonic waves from the meteorite that broke up over Russia’s Ural mountains early this morning.

A meteor shower hit the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia in the Ural Mountains about 9:30am local time, with hundreds reported injured by flying glass near the impact site following a large sonic boom.

The low frequency sound waves from the blast were detected at 3:22 GMT on 15 February by the network designed to track atomic blasts across the planet.

People cannot hear the low frequency waves emitted by the explosion but they were recorded by the CTBTO’s network of sensors as they travelled across continents.

The CTBTO's infrasound station at Qaannaaq, Greenland was among those that recorded the explosion.

The "explosion" heard in videos such as the one below was "almost certainly" from the shock wave of the meteoroid, astronomers said, and not from it exploding or hitting the ground.

There are currently 45 infrasound stations in the CTBTO’s network that measures micropressure changes in the atmosphere generated by infrasonic waves.

Infrasound is one of four technologies used in the CTBTO's network of sensors to monitor the globe for violations of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that bans all nuclear explosions. Atomic explosions produce distinctive, low frequency sound waves that can travel across.

The sonic boom broke windows and was enough to throw people across the room, as the video below shows.

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