Human activities have long been changing the Earth since civilizations started rising and populations increased, but apparently, our actions are not only changing our planet so severely, we are also affecting space.
NASA Detects 'Man-Made' Barrier
In a report by ScienceAlert, space probes from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have detected a "human-made" barrier surrounding the entire planet.
The discovery was made in 2017, and soon, scientists' tests determine that it was a product of human activity on Earth and that it's also affecting space weather far beyond our planet's own atmosphere.
But before the world starts fretting, it seems like for once, humanity's actions are working in our favor.
The planet is surrounded by radiation belts known as the Van Allen Belts, with the inner belt stretching from about 640 to 9,600 kilometers (or 400 to 6,000 miles) above our planet's surface, while the outer layer is around 13,500 to 58,000 kilometers (or 8,400 to 36,000 miles) from Earth's surface.
Sending the Van Allen Space Probes
In 2012, NASA scientists sent two space probes designed to work together as they stroll past the Van Allen Belts at a speed of 3,200 kilometers per hour (2,000 mph).
Then in 2017, while the space probes are working in space, they detected something strange with the charged particles that are caught in Earth's magnetic field and with through close monitoring, NASA scientists found out that the solar discharges can be dangerous for us here on Earth's surface are somehow being kept at bay by a low-frequency barrier.
Curious, the scientists began researching more and soon found out that the barrier has been actively keeping Earth safe from the Van Allen Belts for a few decades already.
According to their research, astronomers found that the lower limits of the radiation streams are now pushed much farther away from the planet than in the 1960s.
So, what exactly is this man-made barrier protecting us from dangerous solar discharges?
Barrier Made From VLF Signals
As it turns out, the barrier is made thanks to a transmission type known as very low frequency (VLF) communication, which have started to become popular in the later decades compared to the 1960s, and as it turns out, the VLF can actually "influence how and where certain particles in space move about."
"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, one of the scientists in the team from MIT Haystack Observatory located in Massachusetts.
VLF signals are commonly used to communicate with deep-sea submarines as well as transmit information through challenging terrains.
Nevertheless, VLF signals were never really meant to go anywhere outside Earth, but it's been leaking into space for the past few decades, creating a helpful barrier keeping Earth a little safer from the dangers of space.
Now, it has become one of the best influences we have on our planet.
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Written by: Nhx Tingson