The ESA spacecraft encountered the signal as it passed over the Pacific some 30 minutes after the onset of the magnitude 9.0 quake, and then again 25 minutes later as it moved across Europe.
The satellite's super-sensitive instrumentation was able to detect the disturbance as it passed through the thin wisps of air still present 255 km above the Earth, the 'BBC News' reported.
It has long been considered that major quakes will generate very low-frequency acoustic waves, or infrasound - a type of deep rumble at frequencies below those discernible to the human ear. However, no spacecraft in orbit has had the capability to record them, until now.
"We've looked for this signal before with other satellites and haven't seen it, and I think that's because you need an incredibly fine instrument," said Dr Rune Floberghagen from ESA.
"Goce's accelerometers are about a hundred times more sensitive than any previous instrumentation and we detected the acoustic wave not once, but twice - passing through it over the Pacific and over Europe," the mission manager said.