Study: Upper layer of atmosphere is shrinking

WASHINGTON — Scientists say the lack of solar activity is causing one of the highest layers of the atmosphere to shrink.

That may sound scary, but they say it actually can be good news for satellites. It means the satellites can stay in orbit longer because they have less drag from the gasses they encounter.

Of course there’s also a downside. It also means space junk orbiting the Earth can remain up there longer.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado at Boulder participated in the study.

They found the sun’s energy output was unusually low from 2007 to 2009. During that period the atmospheric layer called the thermosphere — from 55 miles to 300 miles above the Earth — cooled and shrank.



COMMENTS

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.




Search More Jobs






THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy