A bright fireball meteor that passed over western Alaska on October 15th caused enough disturbance in the atmosphere to set off volcano sensors throughout the region.
The event, which took place on October 15, triggered six of the sensors’ alarms at a new monitoring station on the Kenai Peninsula. The sensors are built to detect low-frequency sound waves in the atmosphere during volcanic activity, but in this case they picked up waves coming from the meteor that had streaked across the sky around 360 miles away.
In a Facebook post, the USGS said the meteor also triggered an alarm at Mount Spurr—a large, active volcano that sits around 80 miles from Anchorage that last erupted in 1992. However, as other monitoring systems also picked up on the waves, “it quickly became clear that this was not activity at Mount Spur,” the post said.
It is ironic, but those sensors, designed to monitor volcano eruptions, have likely also provided scientists some worthwhile data on asteroids.
Hat tip Commander Cobra of Task Force Gryphon
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