NASA scientists have revealed the presence of a huge man-made bubble that’s surrounding the Earth, likely the result of very low frequency (VLF) radio signals, used to communicate with deep-ocean submarines. “By understanding more about how VLF transmission helps shape our space environment, we learn more about this complex region surrounding us,” NASA said. “The more we know, the more situational awareness we have to protect our satellites from natural radiation in space.”
Daniel Baker, director of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado.
The bubble might be impacting the way high-energy particles move through the near-space environment. In a new study, researchers used NASA’s Van Allen Probes to look at the impact of man-made “space weather” when they spotted the VLF bubble, with the signals travelling beyond the planet’s atmosphere and into space.
NASA says these types of radio signals could one day be used to clean excess radiation in the “near-Earth environment”. Scientists are also figuring out if VLF can remove charged particles in the upper atmosphere during extreme space weather events. The VLF signals could be pushing further back what’s considered an “impenetrable barrier” of radiation.
By understanding more about how VLF transmission helps shape our space environment, we learn more about this complex region surrounding our planet, NASA says.
The Daily Galaxy via NASA and News.com