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NASA Probes Accidental Human-Made Barrier Surrounding Earth

May 19, 2017 03:05 PM EDT
NASA's Van Allen Probes Find Human-Made Bubble Shrouding Earth
NASA is exploring human-made barriers around the planet. The barrier is a result of using VLF communication signals.
(Photo : NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center/YouTube Screenshot)

A massive human-made barrier protecting the Earth was discovered and NASA is currently looking into it. This is because the barrier is actually influencing space weather even beyond the Earth's atmosphere.

This means the activities on Earth is not just changing the planet but the universe as well. Everything that's happening on Earth has its effect in space, too. Nevertheless, experts believe that the changes concerning the human-made barrier surrounding Earth are working in our favor.

The barrier is thought to be a "bubble-type" shield around the planet. NASA is already studying the shield and had already launched two space missions to pass through the Van Allen Belts at about 3,200 km/h (2,000 mph).

There are natural radiation belts surround the planet. The inner one stretches from 640 to 9,600 km (400 to 6,000 miles) about the Earth, while the outer one has an altitude of 13,500 to 58,000 km (8,400 to 36,000 miles). The surprising finding is that the probes discovered another accidental human-made barrier within Earth's magnetic field.

The human-made low-frequency barrier traps solar discharges adding another layer that surrounds the planet. Based on data collected, the human-made barrier is actually pushing the Van Allen Belts farther away from the planet for decades. The good thing is that, because of this, radiation streams are now farther away from Earth compared to how it was in the 1960s.

How did this happen?

The Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio communications are the ones responsible for the new human-made barrier. The VLF created a new "anthropogenic" human-made space weather.

"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," Phil Erickson from the MIT Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts said in a statement.

VLF signals are used in military operations, engineering and other scientific explanations. The signals are weak to carry transmissions but it is capable of delivering codes on air and even underwater. And scientists now know that using VLF changes space weather on Earth and is also influencing space.

Experts say that VLFs are only designed to stay on the planet. But as it turns out, the accidental human-made barrier created by VLFs is pushing the natural barrier farther into space.

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