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A. A Monitoring Device that Detects Secret Nuclear Weapons Testing and More ...

Narrator: This is Science Today. A unique array of monitoring devices has been developed and deployed in a southern California desert by a team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Researcher Michael Hedlin says it's one of the first stations in a new global network.

Hedlin: It's a special kind of listening post. It's an array of microbarometers. And what it does is it listens to sounds in the atmosphere that are at such long periods that we can't hear them with our ears. So it's listening for sounds that we would otherwise be unaware of.

Narrator: These include signals such as secret nuclear weapons tests, volcanic eruptions and meteors. In fact, Hedlin says one of the first significant signals they heard was a large meteor crashing into Earth's atmosphere last spring.

Hedlin: The explosion was comparable in yield to the atomic weapon that was dropped on Hiroshima. And so we recorded very large signals. The signals were so large that they propagated to the other side of the planet and were recorded by a similar array in Germany.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.