NASA probes have detected an artificial barrier around Earth that prevents high-energy space radiation from reaching the planet, scientists say. Humans have long shaped the landscape of the earth, but now scientists have discovered that we can also shape our immediate environment from space. A certain type of communication – very low frequency radio communications (VLF) – were found to interact with particles in space, which affects how and where they move. Sometimes these interactions can create a barrier around the earth against the natural radiation of high energy particles in space.
A certain type of communication – very low frequency radio communications (VLF) – were found to interact with particles in space, which affects how and where they move. Sometimes these interactions can create a barrier around the earth against the natural radiation of high energy particles in space.
VLF signals are transmitted from ground stations to enormous power to communicate with submarines in the ocean. While these waves are for communications below the surface, they also extend beyond our atmosphere wrapping the earth in a VLF bubble. This bubble is the same view of the spacecraft above the surface of the Earth, such as the Van Allen NASA probes the study of electrons and ions in the environment close to Earth.
“A number of experiments and observations have shown that, under the right conditions, radio signals in the VLF frequency range can actually affect the properties of the high-energy radiation environment around Earth,” said Phil Erickson, assistant director At the Hay Company Observatory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.
The probes have noticed an interesting coincidence. The outer extent of the VLF bubble corresponds almost exactly to the inner edge of the van Allen belts, a layer of charged particles held in place by the earth’s magnetic field.
Dan Baker of the University of Colorado in the United States invented the lower boundary of the “impenetrable barrier” and speculated that if there were no human VLF transmissions, the boundary would probably be closer to Earth.
In fact, comparing the magnitude of the modern Van Allen radiation belts data probes show that the inner boundary is much more distant than the position stored in the 1960s satellite data, when the VLF transmissions were more Limited. With more studies, VLF transmissions can be used to eliminate excess radiation environment near the Earth.
Plans are already underway to test VLF transmissions in the upper atmosphere to see if they can remove excess charged particles – which can occur during periods of intense space-time, such as when the sun erupts with clouds Giants of particles and energy. The research was published in the journal Space