There is an Invisible (hidden) Force Field Protecting Earth - Physics-Astronomy.org

There is an Invisible (hidden) Force Field Protecting Earth

High above Earth’s atmosphere, electrons whiz history at close to the speed of light. Such ultra relativistic electrons, which make up the external band of the Van Allen radiation belt, can streak about the planet in a meager five minutes, bombarding no matter which in their path. Exposure to such high-energy radiation can cause havoc on satellite electronics, and pose serious fitness risks to astronauts.
Researchers at MIT, the University of Colorado, and somewhere else have establish there’s a hard limit to how close ultrarelativistic electrons can find to the Earth. The team found that no substance where these electrons are circling approximately the planet’s equator, they can get no additional than about 11,000 kilometers from the Earth’s surface — despite their strong energy.
 What’s keeping this high-energy emission at bay seems to be neither the Earth’s magnetic pasture nor long-range radio waves, but quite a phenomenon termed “plasmaspheric hiss” — very low-frequency electromagnetic waves in the Earth’s higher atmosphere that, when played through a speaker, resemble still, or white noise.
Based on their data and calculation, the researchers believe that plasmaspheric hiss fundamentally deflects incoming electrons, cause them to collide with neutral gas atoms in the Earth’s higher atmosphere, and ultimately disappear. This usual, impenetrable barrier appears to be very rigid, keeping high-energy electrons from pending no closer than about 2.8 Earth radii — or 11,000 kilometers from the Earth’s outside.
 Shields up
The team’s results are base on data collected by NASA’s Van Allen Probes — twin crafts that are orbit within the harsh environment of the Van Allen radiation belts. Each probe is intended to withstand steady radiation bombardment in order to measure the presentation of high-energy electrons in space.
The researchers analyzed the 1st  20 months of data return by the probes, and observed an “very sharp” barrier against ultrarelativistic electrons. This barrier held stable even next to a solar wind shock, which drove electrons in the direction of the Earth in a “step-like fashion” in October 2013. Even beneath such stellar pressure, the barrier reserved electrons from piercing further than 11,000 kilometers on top of Earth’s surface.
 Seen through “new eyes”
Foster say this is the first time researchers have been clever to characterize the Earth’s radiation belt, and the forces that stay it in check, in such feature. In the past, NASA and the U.S. military have launched particle detectors on satellites to measure the effects of the energy belt: NASA was interested in designing better protection next to such damaging radiation; the military, Foster says, had other motivation.
    “In the 1960s, the military shaped artificial radiation belts around the Earth by the detonation of nuclear warheads in space,” Foster says. “They monitored the radiation belt change, which were enormous. And it was realize that, in any kind of nuclear war state of affairs, this could be one thing that could be complete to neutralize anyone’s spy satellites.”

The data composed from such efforts was not nearly as exact as what is deliberate today by the Van Allen probes, mainly since before satellites were not designed to fly in such harsh condition. In contrast, the resilient Van Allen Probes have gather the most detailed data yet on the performance and limits of the Earth’s radiation belt.
There is an Invisible (hidden) Force Field Protecting Earth
    “It’s like look at the phenomenon with new eyes, with a latest set of instrumentation, which give us the point to say, ‘Yes, there is this hard, quick boundary,’” Foster says.

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