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Still Waters

World War II bombs 'felt in space'

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Still Waters

The bombs used by Allied forces during World War II were so large, they weakened the Earth's upper atmosphere.

The air raids turned towns to rubble and ash, but now new research shows shockwaves could be felt up to 1,000 km above the UK.

Chris Scott, from the University of Reading said: "I was absolutely astonished [when I found out].

"Each raid released the energy of at least 300 lightning strikes."

It's now hoped the research will give us a better understanding of how natural forces such as lightning, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can affect Earth's upper atmosphere.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45655149

https://news.sky.com/story/second-world-war-allied-bombing-raids-shook-the-edge-of-space-scientists-say-11508374

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seanjo

1000km? does the atmosphere extend that far?

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pallidin
56 minutes ago, seanjo said:

1000km? does the atmosphere extend that far?

Troposphere
The troposphere starts at the Earth's surface and extends 8 to 14.5 kilometers high (5 to 9 miles). This part of the atmosphere is the most dense. Almost all weather is in this region.

Stratosphere
The stratosphere starts just above the troposphere and extends to 50 kilometers (31 miles) high. The ozone layer, which absorbs and scatters the solar ultraviolet radiation, is in this layer.

Mesosphere
The mesosphere starts just above the stratosphere and extends to 85 kilometers (53 miles) high. Meteors burn up in this layer

Thermosphere
The thermosphere starts just above the mesosphere and extends to 600 kilometers (372 miles) high. Aurora and satellites occur in this layer.

Ionosphere
The ionosphere is an abundant layer of electrons and ionized atoms and molecules that stretches from about 48 kilometers (30 miles) above the surface to the edge of space at about 965 km (600 mi), overlapping into the mesosphere and thermosphere. This dynamic region grows and shrinks based on solar conditions and divides further into the sub-regions: D, E and F; based on what wavelength of solar radiation is absorbed. The ionosphere is a critical link in the chain of Sun-Earth interactions. This region is what makes radio communications possible.

Exosphere
This is the upper limit of our atmosphere. It extends from the top of the thermosphere up to 10,000 km (6,200 mi).


Credit: NASA/Goddard

Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/science/atmosphere-layers2.html

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and then

For shockwaves to be propagated, surely the air density has to be sufficient?  

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paperdyer

Could this be I proved my preconceived notion?

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pallidin
23 hours ago, and then said:

For shockwaves to be propagated, surely the air density has to be sufficient?  

Yes, dependant on 2 things...

- Atmospheric density 

- Intensity of origin shockwave

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pallidin
Posted (edited)

Just for note, "shockwaves" can be extremely dangerous.

They differ from "normal sonic waves" very substantially.

A normal "push-wave" moves in direct linear motion to event.

A "shock-wave" is vastly different... it expresses propagation in a spherical or partially spherical dynamic.

 

Edited by pallidin
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Jon the frog
Posted (edited)

The U.S. dropped a total of 635,000 tons of bombs, including 32,557 tons of napalm, on Korea. By comparison, 503,000 tons were dropped in the Pacific theater during World War II, 864,000 tons were dropped on North Vietnam through December 31, 1967 during Operation Rolling Thunder, and 500,000 tons were dropped on Cambodia from 1969 to 1973. I think if WW2 bombing got some effect...

Edited by Jon the frog

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Habitat

How ridiculous to emphasise the impact of bombing on empty space, when the effects of the ground, don't even bear thinking about. 

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