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Humans Accidentally Created a Protective Bubble Around Earth

"A pair of NASA space probes have detected an artificial bubble around Earth that forms when radio communications from the ground interact with high-energy radiation particles in space, the agency announced this week. The bubble forms a protective barrier around Earth, shielding the planet from potentially dangerous space weather, like solar flares and other ejections from the sun.

Earth already has its own protective bubble, a magnetosphere stretched by powerful solar winds. The artificial bubble that NASA found is an accident, an unintended result of the interplay between human technology and nature. When humans want to communicate with submarines near the surface of the ocean, they use a type of radio communication known as very low frequency waves, or VLF, transmitted from stations on the ground. Some of the waves can stretch all the way out into Earth’s atmosphere and beyond, where they affect the movement of the radiation particles bouncing around in the region. Sometimes, the interaction between VLF and these particles creates a barrier that can be seen by spacecraft orbiting the planet."

Sunshine Mine (Idaho)

"In the morning of May 2, 1972, a fire broke out in the Sunshine Mine. According to the US Mine Rescue Association, 91 workers died from smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning; 83 men were rescued, 81 on May 2 and two on May 9. The mine was closed for seven months after the fire, which was one of the worst mining disasters in American history and is the worst disaster in Idaho's history. Today, a monument to the lost miners stands beside Interstate 90 near the mine."

NOAA Releases Spectacular First Images From New GOES-16 Satellite

The spectacular first images from NOAA's powerful new GOES-16 satellite were released Monday, providing the most vivid look yet at our hemisphere from a geostationary weather satellite.

GOES-16 first made headlines when it launched Nov. 19, 2016, under the name GOES-R, and was renamed after reaching orbit. NOAA is describing the new imagery that it's sending out as "high-definition from the heavens".