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Elone Musk’s SpaceX rocket launch pierces a hole in Earth’s Ionosphere

Elone Musk’s SpaceX rocket launch pierces a hole in Earth’s Ionosphere

Elone Musk's SpaceX rocketIntroduction

In recent years, the world has witnessed remarkable advancements in space exploration and technology. One of the most prominent figures in this realm is Elone Musk’s Space-X. Known for its groundbreaking achievements, Space-X has brought about unprecedented innovations in the space industry. However, a recent event involving a Elone Musk’s Space-X rocket launch has sparked discussions regarding its potential impact on Earth’s ionosphere, a critical layer of our planet’s atmosphere The Space-X launched Falcon 9 rocket created a momentary breach within Earth’s ionosphere, causing a transient disruption. The Falcon 9 stands as a reusable two-stage rocket engineered to convey both payloads and passengers into the Earth’s orbit.. In this article, we will delve into the details of this event and explore the implications it holds for our understanding of Earth’s atmospheric dynamics.

Layers of the Atmosphere

The Earth’s atmosphere comprises several distinct layers, each with its unique characteristics and functions. These layers, from closest to the planet’s surface to farthest, are as follows:

Troposphere: 

The troposphere is the layer most closest to the Earth’s surface and extends up to about 10 km (6.2 miles) high. This layer is where weather phenomena occur, including clouds, rain, and most of the atmosphere’s water vapor.

Stratosphere:

Situated above the troposphere, the stratosphere extends from about 10 km (6.2 miles) to around 50 km (31 miles) above the surface. Notably, the stratosphere hosts the ozone layer, which plays a crucial role in absorbing harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Mesosphere:-

Beyond the stratosphere lies the mesosphere, spanning approximately 50 to 85 km (31 to 53 miles) in altitude. In this layer, temperatures decrease with increasing altitude, making it one of the coldest regions of the atmosphere.

Thermosphere:-

The thermosphere extends from around 85 km to 600 km (373 miles) above from the Earth’s surface. Temperatures in this layer can be extremely high due to the absorption of intense solar radiation. However, the air density here is extremely low.

Exosphere:

The exosphere is the outermost layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, reaching from about 600 km (373 miles) and gradually fading into space. It consists of very thin gases and gradually merges with the vacuum of outer space.
These atmospheric layers play vital roles in regulating the planet’s climate, weather patterns, and the interactions between the Earth and space.


The Ionosphere and Stratosphere:- A Brief Overview

Elone Musk's SpaceX rocket

So let’s start this before I want to tell you a little bit about ionosphere & stratosphere.

The stratosphere constitutes the Earth’s second major atmospheric layer, positioned above the troposphere and below the mesosphere. Stretching approximately from 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to about 50 kilometers (31 miles) above the Earth’s surface, it incorporates the ozone layer, which plays a crucial role in absorbing harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. This layer is essential for shielding life on our planet from excessive UV radiation. Conversely, the ionosphere serves as the region where space commences. This expanse is permeated with charged particles such as ions and spans an altitude range of 50 to 400 miles above the Earth’s surface.

This region assumes a vital role in the creation of auroras during geomagnetic storms, as solar plasma interacts with ions, producing breathtaking displays of colors in the sky. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Earth’s ionosphere not only encompasses the upper atmosphere but also marks the initial boundary of space. This boundary aligns closely with the orbits of many of our Earth-orbiting satellites, including the International Space Station.


WHAT HAS HAPPEND by Elone Musk’s SpaceX rocket

Elone Musk's SpaceX rocket
A rocket launched by Elone Musk’s Space-X has punctured a transient hole in the ionosphere encircling our planet, as per a report from spaceweather.com. The Falcon 9 rocket was propelled into the skies on July 19 from the Vandenburg Space Force Base in California. The Rocket launched 22 star-link satellites to orbit 23 July,Sunday, and landed the returning rocket on a ship at sea.
According to the company website, it is reusable, two stage rocket for reliable and safe transport of people and payloads in Earth orbit and beyond. SpaceX also said that it is the world’s first orbital class reusable rocket. Falcon 9 conducted 240 launched and 198 landings.


WHO CONFIRMED ABOUT THE HOLE?

A photograph captured during the launch on July 19 displayed a faint reddish glow, which was meticulously analyzed by space physicist Jeff Baumgarner from Boston University Upon reviewing the launch footage, he observed that the red glow is indicative of a breach in the ionosphere. Mr. Baumgarner, speaking to spaceweather.com, explained that this phenomenon is well-documented when rockets ignite their engines at altitudes of 200 to 300 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. Analyzing the footage from the July 19th launch, he noted that the second stage engine was burning at 286 kilometers, near the peak of the F-region for that specific time of day. Hence, there exists a significant possibility that an ‘ionosphere hole’ was indeed formed.

BUT WHY THIS ROCKET CAUSED THE HOLE?

Due to the low weight, the rocket launched along a vertical path rather than traveling parallel to the surface of the Earths, creating shock-waves. As a consequence, it created a breach in the ionosphere’s plasma.

 

 

HOW CAN IT IMPACT THE EARTH?

The ionosphere holds significance as it both reflects and modifies radio waves employed for communication and navigation purposes. A disruption in the ionosphere can potentially influence the functionality of the GPS system, causing deviations in location accuracy by a few feet. Nonetheless, at this juncture, the impact appears to be relatively minor, as reported by Newsweek. However, as we look ahead, the situation could evolve with the advent of increasingly potent rockets. This may exacerbate the effects of launches on the ionosphere, potentially resulting in more substantial repercussions on GPS, as mentioned by the same source.

We find ourselves entering an era characterized by the commonplace occurrence of rocket launches, propelled by the reduced expenses made possible through reusable rocket technology. Simultaneously, humans are in the process of boundary of space. This boundary aligns closely with the orbits of many of our Earth-orbiting satellites, including the International Space Station.

 

BUT WHY THIS ROCKET CAUSED THE HOLE?

Due to the low weight, the rocket launched along a vertical path rather than traveling parallel to the surface of the Earths, creating shock-waves. As a consequence, it created a breach in the ionosphere’s plasma.

 

Not The First Time

An analogous incident involving the identical rocket occurred in the past as well. As reported by Science Times, a prior occurrence took place when the Falcon 9 was launched from Vandenburg Space Force Base, carrying the FORMOSAT-5 payload on August 24, 2017.

A Reminder of Earth’s Complexity

The incident serves as a reminder of the intricacies of Earth’s atmospheric dynamics. The ionosphere, despite its vast expanse, is a delicate system influenced by various factors, including solar activity, geomagnetic storms, and now, human-made disruptions. As humanity ventures further into space, it becomes imperative to comprehend and responsibly manage our interactions with these intricate systems.

Conclusion

Elone Musk’s Space-X rocket launch, while successful in its primary mission, inadvertently demonstrated the potential impact of human activities on Earth’s ionosphere. As we continue to explore and expand our presence beyond our planet, it is essential to strike a balance between technological progress and environmental responsibility. The incident underscores the need for collaborative efforts between the scientific community and space industries to ensure that our ventures into space do not come at the expense of our planet’s delicate atmospheric equilibrium.

 

 

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