NASA Detect ‘Human-Made’ Radiation Bubble Around The Earth
“Humans have long been shaping Earth’s landscape, but now scientists know we can shape our near-space environment as well. A certain type of communications — Very Low Frequency, or VLF, radio communications — have been found to interact with particles in space, affecting how and where they move. At times, these interactions can create a barrier around Earth against natural high energy particle radiation in space,” says Space Science Reviews.
VLF or Very Low Frequency signals are usually transmitted from ground stations to communicate with submarines deep down the oceans. When these signals are used to communicate below the surface, it’s believed that these also go beyond the surface creating a bubble of VLF around the earth. This bubble is seen by spacecrafts high above earth surface like NASA‘s Van Allen Probes.
“A number of experiments and observations have figured out that, under the right conditions, radio communications signals in the VLF (Very Low Frequency) range can in fact affect the properties of the high-energy radiation environment around the Earth,” said Phil Erickson, assistant director at the MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, Massachusetts.
Its noticed by the Probes that the outward extend of VLF bubble is similar to the inner edge of Van Allen radiation belts i.e. a layer of charged particles that are held by the earth’s magnetic fields.
Its believed that these VLF transmissions can help in removing excess radiations from near earth environment and proper planning is underway to test these transmissions for the same. “Plans are already underway to test VLF transmissions in the upper atmosphere to see if they could remove excess charged particles, which can appear during periods of intense space weather, such as when the sun erupts with giant clouds of particles and energy,” NASA said.
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