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 From artificial auroras to radiation belts around Earth: Cold War-era nuclear tests spurred dramatic space weather events

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PostSubject: From artificial auroras to radiation belts around Earth: Cold War-era nuclear tests spurred dramatic space weather events   Fri May 19, 2017 11:21 am

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4520594/Cold-War-era-nuclear-tests-spurred-space-weather-events.html


From artificial auroras to radiation belts around Earth: Cold War-era nuclear tests spurred dramatic space weather events

  • High-altitude detonations in 1958-1962 changed Earth's magnetic environment
  • New study found the effects were similar to those of powerful solar storms 
  • Cold War-era tests gave rise to temporary radiation belts around Earth
  • Also created artificial auroras that could be seen over equator, instead of poles

By Cheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com
Published: 18:06 EDT, 18 May 2017 | Updated: 18:34 EDT, 18 May 2017

Between 1958 and 1962, the United States and USSR conducted high-altitude nuclear explosion tests, detonating weapons as high as 250 miles above the surface.
A new study has found that these tests triggered changes in Earth’s magnetic environment similar to those resulting from naturally-occurring space weather, when the sun sends high-energy particles streaming toward the magnetosphere.
The researchers found that these Cold War-era tests gave rise to temporary radiation belts around Earth and even created artificial auroras that could be seen over the equator, instead of the poles.



A new study has found that these tests triggered changes in Earth’s magnetic environment similar to those resulting from naturally-occurring space weather, when the sun sends high-energy particles streaming toward the magnetosphere


In a new study examining human-induced space weather, researchers found that the high-altitude explosions created an ‘extreme example’ of phenomena typically caused by the sun.
Solar storms are known to cause disruptions to communications down near the surface.
And, based on recently declassified data, the researchers found that these tests were linked to strained utility grids in Hawaii and satellite disruption, among other things.
The tests conducted by the US and USSR involved exploding nuclear weapons at 16 to 250 miles above the surface.
This first created a massive, expanding fireball of plasma, followed by geomagnetic disturbance.
These disturbances distorted Earth’s magnetic field lines, according to NASA, and created an electric field on the surface.
On such test was the Teak test of August 1, 1958. 
This detonation, conducted over Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean, spurred an artificial aurora that was seen by the Apia Observatory in Western Samoa.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4520594/Cold-War-era-nuclear-tests-spurred-space-weather-events.html#ixzz4hXRAxJXZ
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4520594/Cold-War-era-nuclear-tests-spurred-space-weather-events.html#ixzz4hXQlhZKG
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