During the cold war, the Soviet Union and the United States conducted several nuclear explosions in the atmosphere and space.
American and British scientists showed that the Soviet Union conducted an atmospheric test of nuclear weapons triggered the formation of artificial radiation belts of the Earth. A study published in the journal Space Science Reviews.
In their findings, the scientists relied on declassified data on atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, conducted in 1958-1962 years (at a height of from 25 to 400 kilometers). According to the published materials, nuclear explosions triggered emissions in the near-earth space high energy particles, which has slightly changed the configuration of the magnetosphere of the Earth.
The emergence of artificial radiation belts, scientists estimate, could cause the loss of several satellites in low orbits. The authors note that the contribution to the formation of new belts made in the USA.
During the cold war, the Soviet Union and the United States conducted several nuclear explosions in the atmosphere and space. The peak testing occurred by the end of 1950 — beginning of 1960-ies and is associated with the beginning of the space race.
Depending on solar activity, the radiation belts (also called van Allen belts) can change their sizes. This area of the Earth’s magnetosphere prevents life-threatening high-energy charged particles to the planet.
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