It’s been recently discovered that there is a man-made barrier around the Earth that’s been fascinating and intriguing scientists across the globe. While the barrier is not a force-field per se, it’s still interesting to know that humans don’t only have negative effects on the Earth, as we are so often told.
NASA researchers have discovered that certain radio communications, known as VLF (very low frequency), are capable of interacting with particles in space, moving them in certain directions. It’s already known that we can affect the “space weather” surrounding the planet, but this new discovery may enlighten scientists to ways that that space weather can be manipulated to protect satellites and life on the planet.
“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 co-author Phil Erickson, assistant director at the MIT Haystack Observatory, in a statement.
The Earth is surrounded by regions filled with charged particles, known as the Van Allen Belts. It was traditionally assumed that there were two of these regions, but it turns out that this is a lot more complex than originally assumed. The Van Allen Belts are a consequence of Earth’s magnetic field and act as an almost impenetrable barrier, keeping the most energetic electrons from reaching our planet. Using data from NASA’s Van Allen Probe, the researchers have discovered that the VLF-induced bubble extends up to the inner edge of the Van Allen Belt and not further. The team speculates that the VLF bubble is pushing the Van Allen Belt outwards. Meaning, humans have caused an expansion of the protective barrier around the Earth.
This short video will explain how the barrier was formed, and what it could mean for future space weather manipulations.
The researchers speculate that if there were no VLF (no human interference), the boundary would stretch closer to Earth. This assumption is backed by data from the 1960’s as well. Back then, the data showed the Van Allen Belt to be much closer to our planet than it currently is. But, back then, VLF transmissions were a lot more limited, which could explain the difference.
The manipulation of space weather could positively impact the Earth, keeping satellites in orbit safe. Not all human effects are negative for our planet, and this man-made barrier is proving it. We, humans, have accidentally created a barrier around our planet, and while it might not be a futuristic force field, it is still rather amazing.