Despite its lack of attention from space science fiction movies, radiation is probably humanities deadliest foe--at least when it comes to colonizing a few promising worlds.
While anti-radiation drugs, specialized habitats and portable magnetic shields could enable us to live on hostile worlds, using massive radio waves could help "damper" the affects of encounter this invisible killer.
(ABC News Australia) Gamble and colleagues were using the research satellite DEMETER to investigate the behaviour of the magnetosphere when they picked up some interesting observations directly over the North West Cape military transmitter in Western Australia.
"We were able to determine that this transmitter has a direct effect on the electrons in the radiation belts [in the magnetosphere]," says Gamble.
"[It caused] those electrons to crash into the top of the atmosphere and be removed from the radiation belts."
He says this is the first study to show humans could control electrons in the magnetosphere from earth.
Gamble says specially-designed radio transmitters could be aimed towards to sky to dissipate the electrons, once a solar flare was detected.
If massive radio waves could be used to reduce the strength of radiation belts from Earth, future colonists may be able to replicate this on other worlds such as Ganymede, not to mention the icy moon worlds of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
This would enable humanity to settle upon lunar worlds heavily bathed within their parent planet's radiation belts, opening up worlds that may have been previously written off to the public because of intense radiation.
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