Balloons Detect an Earthquake from the Stratosphere

Posted: August 11, 2022 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Earthquakes, innovation

Next stop: Venus?

August 10, 2022: If you want to detect an earthquake on Venus–good luck. The planet’s surface is hot enough to melt lead, and the atmospheric pressure is crushing. No ground-based seismometer could possibly survive.

What’s an extraterrestrial seismologist to do? Launch a balloon.

Above: Researchers prepare to launch a Strateole-2 balloon with sensors capable of detecting earthquakes from thousands of kilometers away.

A new paper just published in the Geophysical Research Letters reports the detection of a magnitude 7.3 earthquake by a fleet of balloons floating through the stratosphere above Indonesia’s Flores Sea. Onboard infrasound sensors registered acoustic waves rippling upward from the sea surface below, proving that, here on Earth, balloons can be used as seismometers.

“The same technique should work in the atmosphere of Venus,” says Raphael Garcia, the study’s lead author and a planetary scientist at the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronatique et de l’Espace of the University…

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  1. Gamecock says:,still%20ongoing%20around%20the%20location%20of%20the%20epicenter.

    ‘This also proves that the distribution of BMKG’s seismic stations around the epicenter was quite effective, and even small earthquakes can be recorded properly.’

    Ground station seismometers were all over it. The balloon is a toy.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Seismometers wouldn’t last long at Venus surface under 92 bar pressure.

  3. Gamecock says:

    ‘What’s an extraterrestrial seismologist to do? Launch a balloon.’

    ‘Balloon-based sensors could float high above Venus’s deadly surface, collecting data at a safe distance.’

    Balloonshit. Balloons are an earthly conveyance. In Venus’ atmosphere, the empty tank on your gas BBQ grill would float fifteen miles up.

    Scratch balloons for Venus. Some sort of steel tank – or a sealed up old Volkswagen Beetle – will be needed.

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