NASA space probes have discovered an artificial barrier around Earth created through human activity—showing we are not only responsible for shaping the environment on land, but that we are now having an impact on space too.
The barrier, which comes and goes, is the result of very low frequency radio communications interacting with particles in space, which results in a sort of shield protecting Earth from high energy radiation in space.
This, scientists say, is potentially very good news, as we could use the barrier to protect Earth from extreme space weather resulting from events like coronal mass ejections—huge explosions on the sun, where plasmas and magnetic field are ejected from its corona, the outermost part of its atmosphere. These ejections can result in geomagnetic storms, which have the potential to knock out communication satellites and power grids.
NASA scientists detected the barrier with the Van Allen Probes, which are designed to …
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