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Ionosphere Lower Than Thought


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  • Location: ilminster Somerset
  • Location: ilminster Somerset

    interesting snippet from the popastro news letter http://www.popastro.com/



    Observations made by instruments on a US air-force satellite have

    shown that the boundary between the Earth's upper atmosphere and space

    has moved to extraordinarily low altitudes. The satellite was

    designed to study disturbances in the Earth's ionosphere, which is a

    gaseous envelope of electrically charged particles that surrounds the

    Earth and is important because radar, radio waves, and signals for

    global positioning systems can be disrupted by ionospheric

    disturbances. The satellite's first discovery was, however, that

    the ionosphere was not where it had been expected to be. The

    transition between the ionosphere and space was found to be at about

    260 miles altitude during the night-time, rising to about 500 miles

    during the day. Those altitudes were unusually low compared with the

    more typical values of 400 miles at night and 400 miles by day.

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  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    I have to wonder whether the low ionosphere,weakening magnetosphere can influence happenings in the stratosphere (like our recent, notable, MWW) If we have a low height ionosphere and our magnetic shield is not as robust as it might be then extra terrestrial bombardment will face less resistance higher up and impart a greater impact lower down. Our recent MWW showed a 'top down' warming with the greatest heating higher up all of which would suggest and 'off world' cause for the warming and not a rampant Rosby wave bouncing off mountains below and compressing the strat from below. I'd read somewhere of an X-Ray burst from the sun which would be in the right time-frame to have caused the sudden warming and ,if our atmospheric defences are low, it's impact would have been notable.

    With SC24 taking so long to get going I also have to wonder whether the earth is responding to such quiet conditions.When SC24 gets going it would be interesting to see if the ionosphere regains it altitude.

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