Chinese Satellite to Study Quakes

Chinese Satellite to Study Quakes

China successfully launched its first seismo-electromagnetic satellite to study seismic precursors, which might help it establish a ground-space earthquake monitoring and forecasting network in the future. A Long March-2D rocket, which was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert, carried the 730-kilogram China Seismo- Electromagnetic Satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit.  “Known as Zhangheng 1 in Chinese, it will help scientists monitor the electromagnetic field, ionospheric plasma and high-energy particles for an expected mission life of five years,” Zhao Jian, a senior official with China National Space Administration said, the state-run Xinhua news agency, reported. The satellite will record electromagnetic data associated with earthquakes above 6 magnitude in China and those above 7 magnitude around the world, to identify patterns in the electromagnetic disturbances in the near-Earth environment. “Zhangheng 1 cannot be used to predict earthquakes directly, but it will help prepare the research and technologies for a ground-space earthquake monitoring and forecasting system in the future,” he said.

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