A sensor in a balloon detected an earthquake for the first time. The technology will be tested on Venus

A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters AGU reports the first discovery of a large

remote earthquake using a network of sensorspressure tied to balloons in the stratosphere. It will one day be used on Venus, whose hot, dense, and corrosive atmosphere limits our ability to sense earthquakes on Venus from the planet's surface. Balloons could also be used on Earth in hard-to-reach places.

When an earthquake occurs, the vibrating earthsends infrasound high into the atmosphere. There they are caught by special instruments on balloons that soar in the stratosphere for several months after launch. With a diameter of around 11 m and a weight of 30 kg, they can carry up to four instruments.

Monitoring of seismic activity on otherplanets is critical to studying their internal structures, but unlike Earth, planetary scientists cannot rely on a global network of ground-based sensors. Instead, they use the atmosphere.

Seismology is a relatively new phenomenonin the stratosphere; balloons are mainly used to study the atmosphere. Previous research has confirmed that these balloon-mounted sensors can pick up small, local earthquakes. But until recently, a multi-balloon network has yet to detect large earthquakes over long distances.

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