Tontolar, meaning the nonsense that results from writing nonsense related to nonsense.
In case you didn’t already know, one of the sections of this blog bears this name and in it we compile some of these pearls of drivel.
Today’s compilation of tontolares about the ionosphere comes from @jotape’s key.
A rocket has blown up the ionosphere in such a way that it first perforated it, then opened up a gap that extended until it became a big crack to cause a spectacular space haemorrhage that can be seen from any point on earth.
These are statements that have been fattening up the event until we reach a space cataclysm that will end with all traces of terrestrial life or will provoke a space-time hole in our heads through which we will voluntarily expel our brains, who knows, because in the tontolares there is room for anything that can be imagined.
Thus, for 20minutos, the sky, mortally wounded, is losing ‘blood’ in spurts that coagulates on the earth’s surface. The inverted commas are the concrete that holds all metaphors together.
This sucks because the Milky Way is going to explode before the hordes of various hostile civilisations ready to destroy us start arriving.
Be that as it may, I’m sure our civilisation will be able to bounce back from any attack.
After all the necessary and healthy jokes, it is time to try to understand the true meaning of what really lies behind these fools, although for most of the media it is easier, cheaper and more profitable to place sensationalist headlines.
Jotapé, showing his generosity, has invested part of his time in explaining it:
The ionosphere is a layer of the atmosphere found in the upper layers, between about 60 kilometres and about 1,000 kilometres above the earth’s surface.
In this region, atoms and molecules in the atmosphere are hit by solar radiation, mainly ultraviolet rays and X-rays, which are more energetic. This intense bombardment of solar radiation causes some atoms and molecules to lose electrons, becoming ions and releasing free electrons into the atmosphere. As a result, the ionosphere is a region with a high concentration of electrically charged particles.
This layer plays a crucial role in radio wave propagation and long-distance communications. Radio signals can bounce off the ionosphere and thus travel longer distances around the Earth. It also has a protective function: the free electrons in this layer can absorb some of the most harmful solar radiation, thus protecting the Earth’s surface from negative effects. Its configuration is dynamic and changes according to the time of day and solar activity.
During the day, when solar radiation is most intense, the ionosphere is denser, while at night its density decreases. The “gap” that could have been caused by the SpaceX rocket is a known and studied phenomenon. The combustion of rockets emits water vapour and carbon dioxide in the middle of the ionosphere, reducing its ionisation by 70%.
These changes in the density of the layer can affect radio signals and GPS systems for a time and in a very specific location, but everything returns to normal when the sun comes up and the particles become ionised again.
This is not unique to SpaceX rockets, as all rockets that use RP1 and liquid oxygen as fuel (i.e. 99.99%) emit carbon dioxide, water vapour and other gases that are harmful to the atmosphere.
In this case, the only “merit” of Elon Musk’s company would be that it is the one that launches the most rockets (one almost every four days), so it is probably the one that is opening the most “breaches” in the atmosphere.