Solar Flares and Our Accidental Barrier

by Jack Long

It seems like something out of a science-fiction book—an invisible shield surrounding Earth—but in 2014 NASA’s Van Allen Probes discovered an impenetrable barrier in space.

This barrier, caused by the interaction between very low frequency (VLF) waves and charged particles surrounding the Earth, can block solar flares from entering our Earth’s atmosphere. In an age of modern technology running well, everything, solar radiation can easily disrupt power systems causing mass destruction and riots when the power grids go down.

VLF radio waves are used to communicate to submarines deep in the oceans but also cast out far into the atmosphere.

NASA states they plan to strengthen this barrier by blasting VLF radio waves into the Van Allen radiation belt that is held in place by the Earth’s magnetic field. To read more about the Van Allen Probes and their discovery, visit NASA.org

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