Scientists have just made a groundbreaking discovery about our planet that could forever change how we understand our planet, and our own impact on it.
Scientists have just made an incredible discovery about our planet that will blow your mind. Researchers have determined that we may have accidentally created a radiation shield around Earth by broadcasting radio waves everywhere, creating a barrier of sorts in the atmosphere.
The results come from NASA’s Van Allen Probes, and they reveal that our impact on the planet is not limited to Earth surface and the climate. Scientists found that radio communications in the very low frequency (VLF) interact with particles in space to create an artificial barrier against high-energy particle radition that comes from space.
VLF communications, primarily used to communicate across the ocean with the submarines patrolling the planet, didn’t really take off until the latter part of the Cold War. That has allowed scientists to examine how the high-energy radiation environment around the Earth has changed in the last few decades, and how those radio communications may have influenced that.
“A number of experiments and observations have figured out that, under the right conditions, radio communications signals in the VLF 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.
The NASA statement notes: “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.”