Human-induced barrier around Earth against natural high energy particle radiation

Human-induced barrier around Earth against natural high energy particle radiation

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.

VLF signals are transmitted from ground stations at huge powers to communicate with submarines deep in the ocean. While these waves are intended for communications below the surface, they also extend out beyond our atmosphere, shrouding Earth in a VLF bubble. This bubble is even seen by spacecraft high above Earth’s surface, such as NASA’s Van Allen Probes, which study electrons and ions in the near-Earth environment.

The probes have noticed an interesting coincidence — the outward extent of the VLF bubble corresponds almost exactly to the inner edge of the Van Allen radiation belts, a layer of charged particles held in place by Earth’s magnetic fields. Dan Baker, director of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, coined this lower limit the “impenetrable barrier” and speculates that if there were no human VLF transmissions, the boundary would likely stretch closer to Earth. Indeed, comparisons of the modern extent of the radiation belts from Van Allen Probe data show the inner boundary to be much farther away than its recorded position in satellite data from the 1960s, when VLF transmissions were more limited.

With further study, VLF transmissions may serve as a way to remove excess radiation from the near-Earth environment. 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. .

These results, part of a comprehensive paper on human-induced space weather, were recently published in Space Science Reviews.

Featured image credit: NASA/Goddard

Comments

Wow 2 months ago

Yaeshona might consider reading different articles. Seems to be scared of science.

Yaeshona 2 months ago

Europeans are destroying more and more, calling it science, saving life earth, saving the planet, etc. They are the stupidest race ever existed on earth; keep stealing from others, start wars to rob, rape and kill, keep poverty as a system of life and destroy everything on this planet. Now they will set a barrier between the planet and the universe? Please! You can not prevent what is coming. Not thinking what the results of their stupid science can be, geo-engineering = death of trees, drying life in woods, birds, human and humankind, chemicals in the seas/oceans, nuclear plants = death, the whole money and economy system is a scam. I wonder what this barrier will bring upon us and life on earth.

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