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GPS stations trace nuclear explosions, summon end to underground mushroom clouds?


A team of researchers recently revealed findings that could turn GPS stations into tools for detecting illegal nuclear explosions. According to a report, being presented to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) this week, the group found that nearby GPS stations showed a change in ionospheric electron density, following a 2009 nuclear test performed by North Korea. That discovery led to the realization that the same technology we use to track everything from dogs to children can more accurately detect nuclear explosions -- even when they take place underground. By measuring the time it takes for a resulting shockwave to reach and affect surrounding stations, researchers can accurately determine the origin of the blast. The team is currently seeking funding to further its explosive (sorry, we had to) research.

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