Science

Falcon 9 launch last year dug a 559-mile hole in the Ionosphere plasma

Falcon 9 launch last year dug a 559-mile hole in the Ionosphere plasma

Several layers make up the Earth’s atmosphere. When rockets are launched into space, these have some impact on the atmosphere. It is similar to how airplanes have chemtrails. SpaceX Falcon 9 launch made in August 2017 is estimated to have cut a 559-mile hole in the plasma of the ionosphere which is the uppermost layer of the atmosphere that lasted for up to 3 hours which is similar to a localized magnetic storm.

Per the reports, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on 24th August 2018 carrying FORMOSAT-5, a Taiwanese satellite built by National Space Organization for Earth observation. The launch was successful and the satellite was deployed in the lower earth orbit (LEO). As soon as the rocket was launched, it reached a supersonic speed just in few minutes of its launch which created ginormous circular shock acoustic waves (SAWs) that ripped across the atmosphere for a whopping 20 minutes straight clocking at an speed of 629 to 726 meters per second which is almost twice the speed of sound. The area covered by this giant SAW was over 1,770,000 square kilometers which equivalent to four times the area of California in the United States.

Earth’s ionosphere is the region between 80 to 1,000 km above the Earth’s upper which has ionized particles due to Sun rays. When the rocket produced the so-called giant SAW, it disrupted the flow of electrons and caused deplete in the total electron content by almost 70% which is the concentration of electrons spread across the volume one one-meter square. Researchers have associated the SAW produced by the Falcon 9 rocket with the probable disruption in the GPS navigation which might have fluctuated and altered the GPS navigation by up to a meter causing errors with the GPS signal.

Apart from the disrupted GPS navigation, the shock wave traveled at a vertical trajectory, unlike other satellites that produce a horizontal shockwave where the circular shockwaves ripples in the atmosphere with a horizontal trajectory. According to the paper titled “Gigantic Circular Shock Acoustic Waves in the Ionosphere Triggered by the Launch of FORMOSAT-5 Satellite” which is published in the Advancing Earth and Space Science journal, similar disruptions are recorded in every launch and in fact, similar readings are recorded with solar flares and volcanic blasts.

The paper stated: “Understanding how the rocket launches affect our upper atmosphere and space environment is important as these anthropogenic space weather events are expected to increase at an enormous rate in the near future”.

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