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Space Is Just a Little Bit Closer Than Expected

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the winter-shrinkage dept.

Earth 130

SpuriousLogic points out a BBC story which begins "The upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere are much lower than expected, a US Air Force satellite has found. Currently, the ionosphere — a layer of charged particles that envelopes the planet — is at an altitude of about 420km, some 200km lower than expected. The behaviour of the ionosphere is important because disturbances in its structure can upset satellite communications and radar."

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130 comments

Wow (5, Funny)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211455)

skyisfalling tag has never been so accurate!

Re:Wow (1, Informative)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211701)

I blame HAARP [google.com] and the Air Force [af.mil]

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211711)

yet, were is the proof that its not the earth that is rising?

Re:Wow (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26212165)

Earth is growing! [youtube.com] :o

Oh god, i don't want to headbutt space!
I'm building an underground city, if you want to live, follow me!

Re:Wow (1)

santiagoanders (1357681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26213081)

i think i saw it somewere. oh, its rite heer!

Re:Wow (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26213083)

It's "where", you insensitive clod!

Re:Wow (1)

DSmith1974 (987812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26213227)

yet, were is the proof that its not the earth that is rising?

Well, my property developer advised me that they're not making any more earth - so I should snap up as much as I can now. He did seem quite sure.

Mars (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214957)

I hear Mars might become a substitute for Earth in the future. That could really impact the value of your Earth and depreciate the assets in your non-diversified Earth portfolio.

People have been going to space a long time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26215355)

We've been hearing about larger and industrialized countries traveling to the moon for PR and morale purposes, yet there is no show of the smaller countries still on a sound currency able to send their own into space if greater than low-orbit. X-Prize is the under-regulated side of the oppressed class of citizens wanting to experiment. Many trade conventions have exhibitors that pronounce and detail capable craft and technology that achieves much of these needs life containment outside of this planet's atmosphere. Consider that NASA isn't their only push, that there are people that want to do try these abilities before the decade is out and their life passes by them. Flying cars are old technology that small and sparingly populated areas out in Nebraska to Utah have been using between the annoying United States port-cities that the FAA has spoiled in monopoly and ill function. North of the Mediteranean Sea, I can think of a few firms in Germany and Italy that have already independently sent some of their own into space under the help of military to keep the event private and unpublished from public television.

Recently and on a shoe-string budget, a group of 5 or 6 men were sent to the moon to prove that NASA employees aren't the only one's capable of hosting a visit. They even sang a song from their landing, and carried-out atmospheric experiments on primitive specimens [youtube.com] ; but I fear that India is about to send lines of its dancers in same fassion.

Why US'ians don't know outside their borders, none will ever know.

This like so totally trashes Richard Branson ... (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211719)

Virgin Galactic? Pay a butt-load to fly up to outer space?

It looks like outer space is coming down to us now.

Well that business plan is now Blagojevich'ed.

Re:This like so totally trashes Richard Branson .. (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211729)

Virgin Galactic? Pay a butt-load to fly up to outer space?

It's hard to use the term "outer space" in anything but jest when Virgin Galactic won't even take you into orbit, but rather will give you only a decent view and a few minutes of weightlessness.

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

aaron alderman (1136207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211759)

What about nothingofvaluewaslost?
Could even throw in a correlationisnotcausation or maybe vaporware.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26212693)

I REALLY hate the correlationisnotcausation tag. Someone followed a statistics and research methodology course and thinks he's smart when he uses this tag to instantly discredit research (tip: the people that conducted the research likely had similar education, and unlike you, they have tenure)

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26213593)

Seriously, everybody knows that academics can't possibly fuck up.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26213625)

that's not what I said but 90% of this type of story has that tag. That's a good correlation and I'm sure there's causation there

Incidentally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26212909)

I would have tagged it as !BeneathASteelSky...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26213641)

Blame it on the pulsing craft that are using it as a gas station. Go watch the tether incident video and see how they enjoy the plentiful source of energy up there. Now maybe NASA can focus on something substantial rather than trying to design a urine recycler that works.

interesting (5, Funny)

Technopaladin (858154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211465)

Thats a pretty wide margin of error.

Things in the Ionosphere can be closer then they appear.

Re:interesting (2, Funny)

aaron alderman (1136207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211771)

1) Send humans into space
2) Redefine the boundary between space and atmosphere
3) ...
4) Profit!!

Odd (0)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211467)

It's amazing how we look out into space and note the minutest changes and this happens at our back door. I picture a guy looking through a huge telescope at a far flung constellation. Then, wishing to take notes, leaning back and gasping, "Now where's my pen!?"

Re:Odd (1)

slugtastic (1437569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211489)

Yeah, amazing. That guy has a huge telescope, but no computer to write notes on.

Re:Odd (1, Offtopic)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211531)

Depending on the situation it's not comfortable for everyone to take notes on a computer. I type very fast (between 90 and 120 wpm depending on how complex the words are), but if I am looking to just jot down information I still prefer pen and paper. It's free form, I can draw lines and make connections quicker, etc. For anything relevant I'll go back and transcribe my notes into text/digital form later. I've met quite a few other people who have similar feelings.

Re:Odd (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211987)

No see the pen corresponds to the ionosphere. Thus noting close proximity and therefore familiarity hence it should be well understood...and....
you know what? He should have taken notes on the computer. *sigh*

Re:Odd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211973)

Modded Overrated? The old M2 really needs to be brought back.

So... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211469)

...the current satellites may be working just by chance?

how could we not have already known this? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211519)

shouldn't we have already known this? this seems like really, really fundamental data.

Re:how could we not have already known this? (2, Informative)

Quantumstate (1295210) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214117)

It does seem surprising given that the ionosphere was used to bounce radio waves around the earth when satellites were not available.

FFS learn to spell or edit correctly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211521)

"SpuriousLogic points out a BBC story wich begins"

It's which

Obligatory (5, Funny)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211527)

Chicken Little, after many years of mockery, finally has the last laugh.

Re:Obligatory (1)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211717)

Whenever I hear "Chicken Little" I think of the novel The Space Merchants [amazon.co.uk] by Pohl & Cornbluth... So I was wondering what a giant GM KFC had to do with the sky being slightly closer than expected..?

Re:Obligatory (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211943)

Wow - just think how many other little in-jokes you're missing out on!

Re:Obligatory (1)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212117)

Come on slashdot - someone back me up on this classic bit of golden age SF!

Re:Obligatory (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212197)

I didn't mean it wasn't a good book (not that I've read it, heard of it, or ever intend to read it), just that there is at least one reference in it that you are missing out on. As for me I'm sure if I reread a few Discworld books that I'd get far more of the jokes and references than I did as a teenager (such as the drop bears in XXXX).

Even More Obligatory (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211777)

Wow, 420 just took on a whole new significance!

Re:Even More Obligatory (5, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211821)

Wow, 420 just took on a whole new significance!

You looking to get hooked up?

I got the new Ionic Chronic gets you so high, you'll feel like you're in outer space.

Re:Even More Obligatory (1, Funny)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214205)

I misread that as "Ionic Colonic", a seriously disturbing image on so many levels...!!!

Ionic Colonic? (1)

gooman (709147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214839)

Didn't The Sharper Image used to sell one of those?

Re:Even More Obligatory (1)

skulgnome (1114401) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211889)

I tagged this article "fourtwenty". Hoping others follow the example.

below 30MHz (4, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211547)

HF propagation is effected too...

Re:below 30MHz (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211613)

Yes, HF propagation is affected -
primarily by the dearth of sunspots...

20m was kind of lousy on Sunday, 'tho I did hear a weak ZS6 here in SoFla.

It will be interesting to see if they repeat these ionospheric measurements regularly, say monthly, over the next 2-3 years as the next cycle starts (to start) up... maybe...

Re:below 30MHz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26214345)

It will be interesting to see if they repeat these ionospheric measurements regularly, say monthly, over the next 2-3 years as the next cycle starts (to start) up... maybe...

They take measurements throughout every orbit and barring unforeseeable disaster will continue to do so for the remaining 3-5 years of the mission. Variations on the measurements being taken now are the entirety of the mission so they will not be moving on to other things, just using the data in more varied ways.

Commun ications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211553)

This is significant in more than just military satellite operations. The global phone system, international trade, global e-mail, etc. Even radio communications can and will be affected (think shorter range 'skip'). Does anyone have an idea as to the 'why'? TFA is a little sketchy...

Re:Commun ications (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211675)

Nonsense. There is no way this will affect communi

[NO CARRIER]

Re:Commun ications (1)

avronius (689343) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212261)

This is significant in more than just military satellite operations. The global phone system, international trade, global e-mail, etc. Even radio communications can and will be affected (think shorter range 'skip'). Does anyone have an idea as to the 'why'? TFA is a little sketchy...

Isn't communication to big to fail? I can't wait to read THIS bailout story...

Re:Commun ications (1)

retzkek (1002769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26213489)

Can't stop the signal, Mal

Erosion of the ionosphere? (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211571)

If this is an actual erosion of the ionosphere, we may be looking at a serious problem. Whereas a hole in the ozone only amounts to a net increase of UV radiation (not that that is any good for humans), a thinner ionosphere means more solar wind removing our planet's atmosphere. Enough erosion and we'll be more barren than Mother Theresa at a Gay Pride festival.

Re:Erosion of the ionosphere? (2, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211647)

Where's the car? We need cars!

A good bad car analogy is: the ionosphere is like a Trabant, with an engine spewing out all manner of charged particles wrapped in a thin shell at best. And the effect being seen is like a stretch Trabant [today.com] , as the thin shell is pulled beyond its limits. A pink one.

A stretch Trabant is also what government-subsidised car makers would result in, resulting in worse ionosphere damage. Perfect!

(Further) Off-topic: here's a heavy-duty Trabi mod: a V8 Trabant [oddrods.co.uk] . They basically had to build an entire car frame and put the original plastic shell around it.

For chrissakes, have at it (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211693)

Re:Erosion of the ionosphere? (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214167)

How about, "Enough erosion and we'll be more barren than Mother Theresa's backseat at a Gay Pride festival"?

Re:Erosion of the ionosphere? (2, Interesting)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214317)

Actually, I had roughly that thought... "Did they measure its distance wrong the first time, or did it move closer to the surface??"

And if the latter... why? is it a temporary condition as the ionosphere flexes up and down, or a permanent trend? And if the latter, hasn't it moved awfully fast?? Unfortunately we don't have the longterm data to determine it either way... and I mean millions of years worth. A few tens of thousands may be meaningless on the scale of atmosophere/space interactions.

Stands as evidence that we don't understand the atmosphere well enough to purposefully fuck with it (as some stop-global-warming schemes propose to do).

Re:Erosion of the ionosphere? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#26215109)

Or it may well be evidence that "global warming" is a distraction from the real extinction event: the disappearance of the Earth's magnetic field. While I'm not to worried about either event, it always seemd odd to me how little press Earth's magnetic field reversal gets (with the accompanying time of no significant field at all). Perhaps the slow change, plus the fact no one really uses compasses for navigation much, have kept it non-news, but I rather expect that no one has yet found a way to use "magnetic reversal" as a political weapon.

She's gone from suck to blow! (5, Funny)

millisa (151093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211623)

Has anyone noticed any large maid-like robotic entities in orbit? More importantly to our future, were there any winnebagos with wings nearby?

Re:She's gone from suck to blow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211745)

haven't noticed. been trying to remember the combination to my luggage

Re:She's gone from suck to blow! (2, Funny)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211787)

It's 1234

Re:She's gone from suck to blow! (1, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211867)

It's 1234

5!!!!!

1-2-3-4-5? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard of in my life! That's the kinda thing an idiot would have on his luggage!

Re:She's gone from suck to blow! (2, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212179)

What a coincidence! I have that same combination on my luggage!

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211645)

I blame global warming!

Re:Hmm (1, Offtopic)

clam666 (1178429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214003)

It probably will be said to be because of global warming. Global warming is a stock answer for anything, because the solution is already made and cannot tolerate dissent.

I got yelled at for a previous post in which I questioned how accurate the measurements of the past could be in calculating that we've "warmed" by a whole degree and all. Apparently that's an invalid question, because those measurements are completely infallible. We can, however, completely screw up the measurement of a slice of the atmosphere by a huge margin due to our lack of meaningful measuring. Also, our satellites appear to be working most of the time anyway, which I find surprising if the information about the measured change is accurate.

The nice thing is, it doesn't matter. According to the new religion of consensus science, all that matters is that most of us agree that the ionosphere IS closer than it used to be; science being proven via popular vote apparently. I doubt this will have that big an issue on telecommunication satellites, because if there is a problem it can be solved using a redistribution of wealth to third world warlords or a satellite cap-and-trade system to solve our technological problems.

Wow! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211657)

I'm suddenly almost halfway towards my goal of making it into space. Take THAT everyone else at the class reunion!

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26213493)

Er... 1/3, no?

It's, 420km, 200 less than thought. That means it was originally thought to be ~620km. So 200km less is roughly 1/3 less.

Were the others in your class better at math?

but can it help you discern how you feel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211683)

we were glad to hear the latest poll was finding US increasingly optimistic, as we were tiring of all this ambivalence. better days ahead.

Say what? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211743)

How could we not know the distance to the ionosphere? Isn't it used all the time for its radio-reflecting properties?

-jcr

Global Warming Explanation!!! (2, Funny)

sac13 (870194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211749)

Now we know why the Earth is warming. We've just got less atmosphere to hold all the heat.

Re:Global Warming Explanation!!! (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211975)

So wouldn't that mean it was getting colder?

Re:Global Warming Explanation!!! (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212133)

If it is being compressed, no.

Re:Global Warming Explanation!!! (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212841)

If it was being compressed then their wouldn't be less of an atmosphere.

Re:Global Warming Explanation!!! (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214509)

Are we defining "less" as by volume, or molecules?

WTF??? (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211765)

WTF? We've been launching rockets for 50 years to probe the space around us and they're only figuring this out now?

Or has this changed from before?

Re:WTF??? (4, Informative)

FailedTheTuringTest (937776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211869)

It's changed. From the fine article: "We are in the depths of a very low solar minimum right now and as a result the ionosphere is lower and less dense than, we believe, at any other time in the history of the space age..."

Re:WTF??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26212207)

It's changed. From the fine article: "We are in the depths of a very low solar minimum right now and as a result the ionosphere is lower and less dense than, we believe, at any other time in the history of the space age..."

If the ionosphere is lower and less dense could this be causing climate change? I'll bet this has nothing to do with CO2 levels. If people think they have the power to change the level of the ionosphere they have a rude awakening!

Re:WTF??? (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214905)

The ionosphere moves. In fact it changes daily and is differnt at night and day and it depends on solar activity. It is a bit like sunlight it too changes (it get dark at night, some times there are clouds and soe times not) but still it makes sens to say "It's brighter then I thought it would be" that is wht they are saying here "It's lower than I thought it would be"

For a given value of ionosphere, and of Space (4, Informative)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211795)

I've never seen a definition of "space" that was based on the altitude of the ionosphere before. I've never seen a claim that the ionosphere was at a certain altitude, rather than a range with upper and lower bounds before. Most articles I see give about a 500 to 600 km altitude range, such as http://www.dcs.lancs.ac.uk/iono/ionosphere_intro/ [lancs.ac.uk]

Still, that's the ionosphere, not "space", and it's subject to wide variations of many different periods. TFA fails to show whether the result is a permanent feature or simply the measurement they found. It can hardly be anything other than the latter because there have been many, many measurements of the ionosphere, starting with numerous sounding rockets during the International Geophysical Year, 1957-58. TFA fails to account for their one results being at odds with many others.

And by "space" they mean "outer space", ie. outside the earth's atmosphere. If they meant simply "space", it could be the simple Euclidian definition of 3 extent dimensions. As such, we all exist in "space".

Real title. (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212075)

And with "just" they may be referring to the justice meaning. As in "Space's Justice is closer than expected". And "bit" might be about the binary unit, as in "it's a 1 closer or 0 closer.". Finally, the term "closer" could be about the baseball relief pitcher who closes the game.

So, for all we know, the title could perfectly mean:

"Euclidean's three extent dimensions are applying justice a little one or an equally little zero, relief pitcher who finishes the game, than expected"

Re:Real title. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26213433)

Wow! More caffeine?

Re:For a given value of ionosphere, and of Space (4, Informative)

Doctor_Marc (921485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214069)

Actually the choice of that wording was determined by the folks helping us with the press conference at AGU. Most folks don't even know what an ionosphere is, so we had to go with something that would at least give the average reader (not the Slashdot reader) a concept to start with. The BBC article did a good job of explaining the science and the concepts once you get past the headline.

There is no universally agreed-upon definition of "where space begins." What we were reporting is that the "transition height" or "topside" in the ionosphere, the altitude where the density of O+ and the density of the light ions (H+ and He+) are equal, is lower than we have ever seen before. Here's a link for the definitions of these layers:

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/IONO/ionostru.html [noaa.gov]

Note that above this level we don't have much interference with radio communications, so the practical interest is with the ionosphere below this altitude. Also this site points out that the topside rarely is below 500 km on the nightside, but the C/NOFS results show that it's currently almost always below that height (down to 400 km in places) .

Here's a link to the press release that went with this press conference that gives a bit more information and a nice graphic of the topside measured by the CINDI instrument on C/NOFS.

http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2008/12/16-001.html [utdallas.edu]

(Full disclosure: I am a member of the CINDI-C/NOFS project.)

GPS (4, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211841)

An accurate model of the ionosphere is also important for GPS. GPS works by measuring the propagation delays of radio waves, which are affected by the Earth's atmosphere.

Re:GPS (3, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212577)

It doesn't have to be that accurate a model for GPS. Yes, the atmosphere introduces errors into the propagation delays, but those errors are measured and accounted for. Ionospheric delays vary with the square of the frequency, so now two GPS frequencies are available for civilian use it's easy to adjust for ionospheric delays moment-by-moment, wherever the ionosphere happens to be at the time. Tropospheric delays are more of a problem, and are a significant part of the residual GPS error, but if the accuracy matters to you then you can use differential GPS and measure those delays too, moment by moment, and correct for them, whatever the troposphere happens to be doing at the time.

Metric vs Imperial (3, Interesting)

bangzilla (534214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211845)

Are we sure that they measured the distance in KM - what if it was miles, or furlongs, or rods, or perches....? I understand that this type of mistake has happened in the recent past.

Re:Metric vs Imperial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26212429)

Speaking as a Land Surveyor, I'm getting a kick out of these replies...

Charades (5, Funny)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211857)

This reminds me of a party and a game of charades. To be perverse I decided to have my charade be "ionosphere" figuring I'd stump everybody and wouldn't be bugged anymore about playing.

Wouldn't you know it? Somebody guessed it in 15 seconds. Yeah, I hadn't counted on a radar systems engineer being at the party. :)

Re:Charades (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26211955)

Your parties sound like a lot of fun. I think I'll stick to snorting blow off of hookers asses.

Re:Charades (5, Funny)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212733)

Thanks Mr. President. We'll leave the light on for you.

Re:Charades (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26213463)

I'm sure that sounded cool in your head.

Re:Charades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26214539)

I know a prostitute with a donkey, though I think the blow may stick in its hair.

Re:Charades (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214641)

You still have a month left in your term, George.

Atmospheric depth and temperature (4, Informative)

RobotWisdom (25776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211901)

Even textbooks on this topic don't usually spell out the very simple dependence between atmospheric depth and surface temperature: when you warm the Earth, air molecules 'bounce' higher, so the atmosphere gets deeper. When you cool it, they bounce less high. The higher they fly, the slower they move, unintuitively termed 'adiabatic cooling'.

A small percentage of the highest bouncers can be reheated by the Sun near the top of their bounces, and I assume the reported lower ionosphere is more due to a decline in this factor than to any global cooling.

Disturbance... (1)

Haralampi (1198303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211945)

"... because disturbances in its structure can upset satellite communications and radar"
They say nothing about disturbance in the Force. IMHO a disturbance in the Force can cause much greater damage than some petty disturbance in the ionosphere ;-)

Re:Disturbance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26214293)

Well that depends on which one is more important to you. Something that happened long ago in a galaxy far far away; or something that happening now, on the plant you are currently stuck on?

OK.... (3, Funny)

SpurtyBurger (1400111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211963)

who moved it?

Definition? (2, Interesting)

Count_Froggy (781541) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212497)

The distance to the edge of an atmospheric layer varies by definition, season, orbit, solar radiation conditions, and probably a variety of other conditions. If the edge measured was at 220km instead of 420km, is there agreement on the definition (as a start)? 220 km converts to about 137 miles. 420km converts to about 261 miles. (sorry, I'm in the US, I think in non-metric units.) The US requirement for astronaut wings is 50 miles. Since none of the people in orbit since 1960 (except for moonshots) went higher than the upper number, where they all in orbit within the ionosphere, according to the claimed 'old' definition? Unlikely.

Meanwhile, we're all in the Twilight Zone... (-1, Offtopic)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212641)

The atmosphere is closer to earth, but we're living in the TWILIGHT ZONE.

We have a supposedly conservative President that borrowed a page from arch liberal Wilson and invaded two countries in the cause of spreading freedom, has essentially nationalized banking, and meanwhile his political opponent, supposedly arch liberal, goes to church every weekend, is happily married with a beautiful family, is a totally self reliant and self made man, and ran and won an election essentially based the argument that America's economic policy and foreign policy should be more pragmatic and in the interests of Americans...

don't believe me? Get thee to You Tube, and listen to Reagan 1980 and compare that to Obama 2008 victory speech. Both guys are making the same arguments - for a more effective government, for better standards of living for the middle class, for a practical foreign policy, in defense of freedom, and above all of faith in the American people.

The only reason Obama did not get 500 electoral votes was because he is black.

Re:Meanwhile, we're all in the Twilight Zone... (1, Offtopic)

huckamania (533052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26213149)

(Off topic, but I'll bite) ...or maybe there are a lot of voters that realize that the man has not done anything of substance except run for successively higher offices. Now that he is President, everyone is waiting breathlessly to see if the man can actually do anything besides 'speak well'. Personally, I hope he does something amazing that transforms American society for the better. I'm just not holding my breath until he does.

Re:Meanwhile, we're all in the Twilight Zone... (1, Offtopic)

jhfry (829244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214879)

I agree and would mod you +1 insightful if I hadn't wanted to comment too (even though this whole thread is OT).

Essentially, Obama is like any other person who excels at a given task. He, like a professional athlete or superstar doctor, lawyer, or burgerflipper, is really good at what he does and people can sense it. What do coaches do with a freshman QB that outperforms the JV or Varsity player... they groom them and advance them as quickly as possible.

His inexperience is not a sign of weakness but a sign of just how good he is. I agree that he hasn't been vetted by the system, and hasn't really done anything of note but advance through the ranks... but look at the kid in your office who keeps getting promoted for simply doing the mundane work better than his peers; you don't need to make waves to prove yourself capable.

Finally, I think that the American people feel that his inexperience also means that his perspective is better. Most politicians spend years accomplishing next to nothing and over time they come to accept it as "just the way things are". Obama is still young and idealistic enough to think that he can make things happen (at least that's how people see him).

Do I think Obama is going to do anything particularly remarkable... no. Not any more than any other President could with a lot of popular support and a large majority in Congress. What Obama will do (I believe) is rally the people, and essentially wield the American people as a tool to push his adjenda... while making the people feel like they have power over their government.

I am a true Republican that voted Obama... for two reasons. I believe that the American people need to be reminded of THEIR power in government. And I believe that the Social Conservative party that pretends to be the Republican party has destroyed our two party system. Why can't I vote for a smaller government and states rights anymore?

This just in... (1)

gooman (709147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26215017)

Closer ionosphere results in increases of off-topic trolls.

Odd (1)

astrodoom (1396409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26212837)

Somehow this never screwed up NASA...I would think the distance you have to travel to clear earth's atmosphere would have been an important thing for space flight. Anyone want to shed some light on this? Is it just that when space is concerned 200km is pretty small?

Bogus Story Title: Should Read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26213321)

TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS IS MUCH CLOSER..

"upset satellite communications" means YOUR communications means YOUR communications are intercepted BY the Air Force.

Wake up and smell the fascism !

Cordially,
Kilgore Trout

December 21, 2012 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26213355)

how perfect that this should be reported on December the 23 .. some say the number of Syncronicity ..

i always found this biblical passage of interest

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;

and perfect if the ultimate cause of this turns out to be the 50 years of launching rockets into space ..

and/or

the long term implications of blowing huge holes in the atmosphere with 521 nuclear test blasts ..

and/or

the HAARP project .. who's true purpose and implications remain a GOVERNMENT secret .. but which are said to be the
american military's attempts to gain strategic advantage over it's perceived adversaries.. by the weaponization of
the weather and possibly even the ionosphere itself ..

http://worldvisionportal.org/wvpforum/viewtopic.php?t=296 [worldvisionportal.org]
http://pesn.com/2005/09/06/9600160_Weather_Modification/ [pesn.com]
http://www.infowars.com/video/clips/weather_wars/wm_bb.htm [infowars.com]

The military says the HAARP system could:

* give the military a tool to replace the electromagnetic pulse effect of atmospheric thermonuclear devices (still considered a viable option through at least 1986);
* replace the huge Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) submarine communication system operating in Michigan and Wisconsin with a new and more compact technology;
* be used to replace the over-the-horizon radar system that was once planned for the current location of HAARP with a more flexible and accurate system;
* provide a way to wipe out communications over an extremely large area, while keeping the military's own communications systems working;
* provide a wide-area Earth-penetrating tomography which, if combined with the computing abilities of EMASS and Cray computers, would make it possible to verify many parts of nuclear nonproliferation and peace agreements;
* be a tool for geophysical probing to find oil, gas and mineral deposits over a large area; and
* be used to detect incoming low-level planes and cruise missiles, making other technologies obsolete

Buttered up to seem harmless HARRP (HIGH FREQUENCY ACTIVE AURORAL RESEARCH PROGRAM) is strongly suspected to be a scalar inferometer, which is able to use the earth and atmosphere as a conveyor of scalar waves to excite the energy in the atmosphere at any point on the planet.. subsequently these waves are able to effect weather patterns by changing the energy levels (density) of the atmospheric layers, also making it possible to create endothermic implosions, or exothermic explosions using something known as the woodpecker signal to target specific points on the globe.

high frequency scalar waves can also be adjusted to the frequency of 8hz. Transmitted, this frequency interacts with the natural vibrational frequency of the brain, and could in fact be used to tip emotional balance or calm a human down.. or even put them to sleep, by resonating at the brains sleeping frequency, or perhaps even making you more or less prone to violence.

First off, there's the basic nature of the project. It's scores of radio antenna pumping massive high-frequency directional broadcasts into the air for the purpose of heating the ionosphere. Yes, that's right â" it's blasting electromagnetic radiation into the sky to "microwave" the outer layer atmosphere. Starting to sound less innocuous?

Some people, purporting to be government employees with privileged information, have claimed that HAARP is actually some sort of massive destructor beam for a nefarious purpose.

HAARP claims that the supposed 3,600 kilowatts of energy originating from the project are completely harmless (detractors claim it's more like a gigawatt) and far less than the normal variation in ionospheric radiation. Which raises the question of why they don't just study those normal variations.

The claims about HAARP made by these ubiquitous people-in-the-know boil down to the following bullet points:

* HAARP is a giant death ray, based on a design contained in the notes of inventor Nikola Tesla, seized by the FBI after his death. This is a very popular theory, probably because so much of it is actually true. Tesla claimed to have developed a death ray with a very similar configuration to HAARP's actual configuration, and the seizure of his scientific papers is a matter of public record.
* HAARP is a weather-control machine. There's a certain logic to this one as well. If a butterfly's wings beating in Tibet can cause el Nino, then a gigawatt of electromagnetic radiation ought to be good for something.
* HAARP is an earthquake machine. Also based on a bunch of weird stuff Tesla discovered. Somewhat offset by the fact the HAARP array is clearly pointed at the sky.
* HAARP is a doomsday machine ripping a hole in the earth's atmosphere. Colorful, but scientifically questionable. How do you rip a hole in air?
* HAARP has something to do with UFOs. Either signaling them, blasting them from the skies, or feeding babies to them.
* HAARP is a giant Mind Control broadcasting machine. Appealing, but if it works, why are people still such assholes?

its a fact that HAARP works, and is much more capable than government officials claim it to be.

It was able to manifest an artificial Aurora,

http://www.livescience.com/technology/050202_light_show.html [livescience.com]

The Gravity Sucks as the EM blows - it's True! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26214029)

http://www.theresonanceproject.org/research.html#spinors

uh, space did just get a lot closer...

lol ;)

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