We may have accidentally formed a protective bubble around Earth | Popular Science

http://www.popsci.com/radio-wave-shield-space-weather?src=SOC&dom=fb

This is interesting if true. This is not the first I have heard EM signals from earth affecting ionosphere. 

When the Navy wants to send a message to an underwater submarine, it sometimes uses very low frequency (VLF) radio waves. Some end up in space and according to a new report, they may be forming a protective bubble around Earth’s atmosphere.

5 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    There Is A Man-Made Barrier Surrounding Our Planet
    http://www.iflscience.com/space/there-is-a-man-made-barrier-surrounding-our-planet/

    We have accidentally created a barrier around our planet, and while it might not be a futuristic force field, it is still damn cool.

    NASA researchers have discovered that certain radio communications, known as VLF (very low frequency), are capable of interacting with particles in space, moving them in certain directions. We know we can affect the space weather around our planet, but this discovery might lead to ways that we could actually manipulate it. The study is published in Space Science Reviews.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11214-017-0357-5

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Humans May Have Accidentally Created a Radiation Shield Around Earth
    http://hackaday.com/2017/05/21/humans-may-have-accidentally-created-a-radiation-shield-around-earth/

    NASA spends a lot of time researching the Earth and its surrounding space environment. One particular feature of interest are the Van Allen belts, so much so that NASA built special probes to study them! They’ve now discovered a protective bubble they believe has been generated by human transmissions in the VLF range.

    VLF transmissions cover the 3-30 kHz range, and thus bandwidth is highly limited. VLF hardware is primarily used to communicate with submarines, often to remind them that, yes, everything is still fine and there’s no need to launch the nukes yet. It’s also used for navigation and broadcasting time signals.

    It seems that this human transmission has created a barrier of sorts in the atmosphere that protects it against radiation from space. Interestingly, the outward edge of this “VLF Bubble” seems to correspond very closely with the innermost edge of the Van Allen belts caused by Earth’s magnetic field. What’s more, the inner limit of the Van Allan belts now appears to be much farther away from the Earth’s surface than it was in the 1960s, which suggests that man-made VLF transmissions could be responsible for pushing the boundary outwards.

    NASA’s Van Allen Probes Spot Man-Made Barrier Shrouding Earth
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/nasas-van-allen-probes-spot-man-made-barrier-shrouding-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. These results, part of a comprehensive paper on human-induced space weather, were recently published in Space Science Reviews.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Anthropogenic Space Weather
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11214-017-0357-5

    Anthropogenic effects on the space environment started in the late 19th century and reached their peak in the 1960s when high-altitude nuclear explosions were carried out by the USA and the Soviet Union. These explosions created artificial radiation belts near Earth that resulted in major damages to several satellites. Another, unexpected impact of the high-altitude nuclear tests was the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that can have devastating effects over a large geographic area (as large as the continental United States). Other anthropogenic impacts on the space environment include chemical release experiments, high-frequency wave heating of the ionosphere and the interaction of VLF waves with the radiation belts. This paper reviews the fundamental physical process behind these phenomena and discusses the observations of their impacts.

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  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cosmic Ray Showers Crash Supercomputers. Here’s What to Do About It
    https://www.wired.com/story/cosmic-ray-showers-crash-supercomputers-heres-what-to-do-about-it/

    The world has changed a lot since then, and so have computers. But space has not. And so Los Alamos has had to adapt—having its engineers account for space particles in its hard- and software. “This is not really a problem we’re having,” explains Nathan DeBardeleben of the High Performance Computing Design group. “It’s a problem we’re keeping at bay.”

    For modern supercomputers, starting with one called Q, this is a big deal. Installed in 2003, Q was much quicker than the Cray-1, and it churned through calculations on the country’s nest-egg of nuclear weapons. But it crashed more than expected—the first failures that caused Los Alamos scientists to really worry about cosmic rays, charged particles that come from outer space. They collide with the chemicals in the atmosphere, and the whole mess breaks apart into smaller particles. “They literally make these showers that just rain down on us,” says Sean Blanchard, from the High Performance Computing Design group. And some of the raindrops are neutrons—which are bad news.

    “They can cause computer memory to flip bits,” says De Bardeleben, “a 0 to 1 or 1 to 0.” That doesn’t much matter for your home computer.

    After Q, the lab’s engineers truly understood that neutrons are not neutral parties, so now they try to preempt problems. Before Los Alamos installs new equipment, like its Trinity machine, engineers perform a kind of cosmic stress-test, placing the electronics in a beam of neutrons—many more than cascade from the sky at any given time—and watching what happens. “We take parts and make them radioactive and make them crash,”

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