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"Let me start off with a riddle," says NASA scientist Allan J. Zuckerwar. In his office in Hampton, Va., he rattles off items as dissimilar as rhinoceroses, supersonic aircraft, and hurricanes. "Now, what do they have in common?" The answer, Zuckerwar explains, is that each one generates silent infrasound—long sound waves at a frequency below 20 hertz. People can't hear anything below that...
Twice each day at more than 1,100 sites around the world, scientists simultaneously loft weather balloons to collect data about Earth's atmosphere. During each balloon's ascent, which lasts a couple of hours or so, instruments garner information about air temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction. Meteorologists feed all of these data into their computer...