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How is the ionosphere useful to man?

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Quick Answer

The ionosphere is a layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that is useful to man because it makes certain communication technologies possible. This layer is ionized by glare from the sun and cosmic radiation, and this ionization facilitates radio signal propagation to satellites and distant locations on Earth. The zone works in harmony with the ground to guide the transmission of very low frequency waves monitored from space weather stations.

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The ionosphere is 75 to 1000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth. When high-energy beams remove one or several electrons from atoms within the zone, ionization occurs and the atoms become positively charged. The ionizing energy comes from the upper atmosphere of the sun, or the corona, which is very hot. The region continuously ejects plasma, ultraviolet light and X-rays, although only half of the Earth’s ionosphere is affected at any time and very few plasma particles hit the atmosphere. When there is no interference from the sun at night, the ionosphere is ionized by cosmic rays from throughout the universe. The ionosphere is irregularly ionized, according to ScienceDaily. The ionosphere contains a plasma in which negative free electrons are attracted to positive ions. However, the particles have too much energy to keep their bond in an electrically neutral molecule.

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