The five meter-long GOCE satellite has been found to have detected the 2011 Tohoku earthquake (Image: ESA/AOES Medialab)
ESA's GOCE satellite detected variations in air density caused by the March 11, 2011 earthquake (Image: ESA/IRAP/CNES/TU Delft/HTG/Planetary Visions)
The European Space Agency’s Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite was launched on March 17, 2009, as the first of a series of Earth Explorer satellites. Its mission is to capture high-resolution gravity measurements and produce an accurate gravity map – or geoid – of Earth. To increase the resolution of its measurements, GOCE was put into an unusually low orbit, which has also helped it to become the first satellite to sense sound waves from an earthquake from space.
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