The Russian meteor created sound waves heard around the world by nuclear explosion monitoring stations.
When the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded high over Russia on February 15, it was a blast heard around the world.
Sound waves from the 500-kiloton detonation of the 17-meter (56-ft) rock were picked up in Antarctica – some 15,000 km (9,320 miles) away – by 17 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) infrasound stations.
The Chelyabinsk meteor created infrasonic waves – sub-audible sounds between 0.001 Hz and 20 Hz that travel around the world and are detectable by the CTBTO’s network of 45 infrasound stations to help enforce treaties against nuclear testing.
The CTBTO detector stations are located in remote locations in order to minimize natural and man-made background noise. They work by recording minute changes in the atmospheric pressure using microbarometers.