Astronomy:Equatorial plasma bubble

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Equatorial plasma bubbles are an ionospheric phenomenon near the Earth's geomagnetic equator at night time. They affect radio waves by causing varying delays. They degrade the performance of GPS.[1] Different times of the year and location have different frequencies of occurrence. In Northern Australia, the most common times are February to April and August to October, when a plasma bubble is expected every night.[1] Plasma bubbles have dimensions around 100 km.[2] Plasma bubbles form after dark when the sun stops ionising the ionosphere. The ions recombine, forming a lower density layer. This layer can rise through the more ionized layers above via convection, which makes a plasma bubble. The bubbles are turbulent with irregular edges.[2]

An equatorial plasma bubble could have affected the Battle of Shah-i-Kot by disabling communications from a communications satellite to a helicopter.[2]


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