The explosion modified and measured the ionosphere thanks to the Global Positioning System

Cindy Fernandez 5 minutes
Lebanon, Beirut, an explosion
2,750 tons of insecurely stored ammonium nitrate exploded in the Lebanese city of Beirut, killing nearly 200 people.

On August 4, 2020, photos of the port of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, went viral around the world, and it appears that it is also the atmosphere. a Published study In Nature magazine it was found that the shock wave of the explosion Electron disturbances cause the ionosphere, One of the outermost parts of the atmosphere and is located at an altitude between 100 and 800 km.

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This layer consists of electrically charged particles, and in order to calculate changes in the number of electrons, the team of scientists calculated the changes in the number of electrons. Measure differences in how quickly signals are transmitted from GPS satellites (Used to find the location) on the ground. Changes in the number of electrons are always taken into account to give an accurate GPS position, since the concentrations of these charges influence these signals as they pass through the ionosphere.

Electrons can be disturbed by space events like geomagnetic storms, but also by events on Earth, such as volcanic eruptions and nuclear tests. “We found that the explosion generated a wave that traveled in the ionosphere in a southward direction At a speed of about 0.8 kilometers per secondEarth and planetary scientist at Hokkaido University, Kosuke Heikki, said that the propagation of the high-speed wave in the atmosphere was similar to that produced by large volcanic eruptions, Hokkaido University wrote in a press release.

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The energy of the celestial wave produced by the Beirut eruption was much greater than that of the 2004 eruption of the Asama volcano (Japan) and the 1996 Wyoming Coal Mine eruption in the United States., Which is considered one of the most active. The Beirut blast was equivalent to 1.1 kilotons of TNT, while the Wyoming explosion was equivalent to 1.5 kilotons of TNT. But since the mine was in a shielded plume, the total electron content disturbance from the Wyoming explosion was one-tenth of what resulted from the Beirut explosion.

At the port of Beirut

Around 6 PM local time (15.00 UTC) on August 4, 2020, more than 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate Stored in the unsafe port exploded In Beirut, Lebanon, nearly 200 people have been killed, leaving more than 300,000 temporarily homeless and 6,500 injured and forming a crater 140 meters in diameter. Damage to public property amounted to 10-15 billion USD.

The ultrasound triggered by this explosion was recorded in Tunisia, Germany and the Ivory Coast, and seismic waves were captured by seismic stations within a radius of 500 km. In fact, the USGS has classified this eruption As a M3.3 seismic event. This is considered one of the most powerful human non-nuclear explosions in human history

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More than 7 months after the eruption, this study confirms its measures How huge and catastrophic it is It was the Beirut explosion, although not a nuclear explosion.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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