Category : Technology
It turns out that the Earth's atmosphere goes much further into space than previously thought. Amazingly, even its moon is in its tentacles because it extends over a distance of up to 630,000 kilometers.
Such revelations come to us from a publication published in the prestigious Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. Astronomers have done space exploration around our planet. This was possible thanks to the support of the SOHO probe and the SWAN instrument on board.
Scientists tracked traces of hydrogen around the Blue Planet and based on this they determined the geocorona range. The sun's rays compress hydrogen atoms in the geocorona on the illuminated side of the Earth and creates an area of increased density on the shaded side. Scientists have calculated that the increased density of hydrogen on the daytime side is 70 atoms per cubic centimeter at an altitude of 60 thousand kilometers, and at a distance of about 400 thousand kilometers, i.e. near the moon, it dilutes to 0.2 atoms per cubic centimeter.
Although we have known about its existence for many years, so far the scientific world has believed that its range reaches about 200 thousand kilometers. New-old SOHO probe data have shed new light on this phenomenon. Now we know that its range reaches up to 630 thousand kilometers, which is over 200 thousand kilometers further than the planet's natural satellite.
The most interesting is the fact that the valuable data on geocorona have been in the data archives for over 20 years, until they were finally analyzed in this respect and now they have changed our perception of its power beyond recognition. All this is due to the SOHO probe and the SWAN instrument, which is equipped with sensors designed to measure ultraviolet emissions from hydrogen atoms, the so-called Lyman-alpha line.
The first discovery of the geocorona occurred quite by accident when in 1972 astronauts set up a telescope on the surface of the Silver Globe. On the captured images it looked as if it surrounded only the nearest space around the Earth. Meanwhile, it covered both them and an even more distant space.
The SOHO probe has made a groundbreaking contribution to our knowledge of the Sun. Thanks to it, we were finally able to take a closer look at sunspots, outbursts of matter, strong magnetic field and solar wind clouds.
By the new year, we will hear more news about it, obviously.