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The edge of space came 12 miles closer to Earth



A Harvard astrophysicist said Earth's space is a little closer than previously thought. Mathematical modeling showed that space is only 50 miles above the Earth's surface. ( Pixabay )

Where do the atmosphere and space of the earth begin? A new study says space is only 50 miles from the planet's surface.

Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics argues that scientists misjudged the limit of space.

In a New Study According to McDowell, it should be published in the [ActAAstronautica journal . McDowell says space begins at a 50 mile elevation, all 1

2 miles lower than the Kármán Line, which has been the dominant theory since the 1960s. Miles above the Earth's surface

What is the Kármán Line

The Aerodynamic Theodore von Kármán guessed in 1963 that the speed with which an object is lifted into the atmosphere corresponds to the speed with which it is held. Orbit around the earth. Kármán said that the horizontal movement of the object in orbit would counteract the effects of gravity.

McDowell says, however, that the traditional view of the edge of space is based on decades of misinterpreted data about objects orbiting the Earth.

Ever since he was 13, McDowell has been gathering data on every missile launched into space, a hobby that often forced him to find out which rockets actually entered space and which remained within the Earth's atmosphere.

Edge Of Space Closer Than Previous Thought

In his study, McDowell studied the orbital patterns of 43,000 satellites based on data he collected from the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which tracks space exploration in the US and Canada.

An overwhelming majority of satellites They were in orbit well above the Kármán Line, meaning they are undeniably in space.

However, 50 satellites caught McDowells attention. After completing their missions, the satellites spun several revolutions around the planet at heights far below the traditional 62-mile limit.

The Soviet Electron-4, for example, went around the Earth 10 times at a height of 52 miles before entering the atmosphere and blasting itself.

"Do you want to [these satellites are] in space and then not say in space every two hours? " says McDowell. "That does not seem to be very helpful."

McDowell went on to develop a mathematical model that identifies the point at which satellites leave their orbits and burn themselves as they enter the atmosphere. The model shows that it is mostly at a height of 50 miles, although it can pass between 41 and 55 miles.

Consistent with existing knowledge

The new results are consistent with existing knowledge of the atmosphere. The mesopause, the coldest layer of the atmosphere, is 52 to 62 miles above the Earth's surface.

Here the temperatures drop drastically and more charged particles flow around freely. In other words, the mesopause looks much more like space than the lower layers of the atmosphere.

Meteors that hit Earth are also falling 43 to 62 miles above the planet, where the air in the atmosphere is rapidly compressed, heats the meteor up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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