Episode 538 - Colossal volcanic eruptions taking out satellites
When a volcano erupts we're used to imagining damage from lava, ash and even tsunamis. So why were satellites taken out? The colossal eruptions at Hunga-Tonga in 2022 caused pressure waves that caused damage 1000s of km away and even to satellites. Satellites, long distance radio and GPS all rely on the ionosphere, but large eruptions can wreck havoc and cause disruptions. When a pressure wave spreads out from a volcanic eruption, we can also get similar disruptions to the ionosphere. Sometimes even before shock wave hits. The way our ionosphere protects and responds to stellar radiation can be influenced by big events down here on Earth.
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