Shockwaves From WWII Bombing Raids Rippled the Edges of Space
The discovery of this impact beyond Earth may help us better understand atmospheric changes that can disrupt modern technologies.
Allied bombing raids across Europe during the World War II wreaked devastation on the ground, but a new study suggests that the impacts of the shockwaves were surprisingly widespread—even rippling to the edges of space.
The study, recently published in the journal Annales Geophysicae, documents the impacts of these bombs in the Earth's ionosphere—a layer of Earth's atmosphere between roughly 50 and 375 miles high that's charged, or ionized, by solar and cosmic radiation. The data suggest each bombing raid released the power of hundreds of lightning strikes, reducing the density of negatively charged electrons in the ionosphere.
While the effect of the bombing raids on the ionosphere was minor and only lasted a few hours, the unusual approach that