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VLF Radio Transmissions May Be Protective

Generations of very low frequency (VLF) radio transmissions on earth may have helped to create a cosmic “electric fence” that protects our planet from high-energy “killer electrons.”

According to a recent article in EOS, scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haystack Observatory report that data from NASA’s Van Allen probes taken after a March 2015 solar storm showed VLF waves interacting with high-energy electrons within the Van Allen belt. As a result of this interaction, the electrons lose their “killer” characteristics as they spread their energy among a large number of other particles.

Scientists believe that the VLF “electric fence” operates only when the high-energy electrons are pushed closer to earth as a result of an outburst from the sun or other solar storm event, similar to a real electric fence that only activates when an intruder tries to climb it. That pattern of activation may actually serve to protect communications satellites when they are potentially most vulnerable.

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Photo by Kevin M. Gill

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