The DSCOVR mission is a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force, with the primary objective to maintain the nation's real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA. The new theory answers the previously unanswered questions regarding the glints appearing on land bodies too. Just like the sun, the bombs - which detonated between 16 and 250 miles above the ground - shot out charged particles in the fiery gas expelled by the initial blast waves. This created a geomagnetic disturbance, which distorted Earth's magnetic field lines and induced an electric field on the surface. Alexander Marshak, DSCOVR deputy project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said that learning more about the ice particles here could also help us in our study of planets beyond our solar system. The "Teak" test over Johnston Island in August 1958 cause an aurora seen by Western Samoa's Apia Observatory. The test was conducted over Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean. These tests provided scientists with valuable insight into naturally occurring space weather. Geomagnetic storms were observed from Sweden to Arizona post the test.
It turned out that Marshak wasn't the first to observe these flashes.
NASA launched the twin Van Allen Probes in 2012 to understand the fundamental physical processes that create this harsh environment so that scientists can develop better models of the radiation belts.
Humans no longer conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere, so we shouldn't experience any more artificial causes of these phenomena.
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This revealed a VLF bubble surrounding the planet, which could even be detected by spacecraft such as the Van Allen Probes, which orbit high above Earth's surface.
VLF signals have been used for deep-sea communication, or transmissions across hard, mountain terrain on account of their large wave lengths which can be diffracted around huge obstacles. He said the flashes could easily be explained as the sun reflecting off the water when they are seen over the ocean, but researchers were baffled when they appear over dry land.
Researchers say that if there were no VLF bubble, the radiation belt boundary would be far closer to Earth than it is.
Dan Baker from the University of Colorado in the United States coined this lower limit the "impenetrable barrier" and speculates that if there were no human VLF transmissions, the boundary would likely stretch closer to Earth.