Space-borne plasma bubbles might have disrupted a US military operation in Afghanistan

Plasma bubbles_Operation Anaconda

In one of our earlier posts, we talked about strange scientific phenomenons like Earthquake lights and Morning Glory clouds. Well, as it turns out, another odd scientific occurring may have had disrupted one of the major US military undertakings in Afghanistan, in 2002. Code named Operation Anaconda, the endeavor involved over thousands of Americans and their allies against the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives.

One incident stood out from the fairly successful operation (though media reports tend to be divided on the actual outcome), and it involved a Chinook helicopter and team of 21 soldiers, who made their landing upon an enemy surrounded peak, despite repeated warnings from the ground-based Navy Seals. Quite tragically, three of the soldiers were killed in the ensuing firefight.

Such episodes of stunted communications were found to be pretty common during the entire operation – and that concerned many experts and analysts. However, two physicists Joe Comberiate and Michael Kelly (at Johns Hopkins University) have closely studied these occurrences with the help of a NASA satellite, and their findings might prove that it was not entirely the military’s fault in handling the ‘contact’ situations. Rather it may have been the prevailing atmospheric conditions that resulted in many steps of miscommunication.

The scientists have identified the particular strange atmospheric phenomenon as the plasma bubble. In essence, the plasma layer in the upper reaches of the atmosphere starts to react during the night time that results in the permutation and regeneration of electrically neutral atoms. The levels of ‘disturbances’ actually increase at the lower levels, which makes the plasma even less dense. This ultimately results in the formation of plasma bubbles (much like air bubbles rising to the water surface) that have the obtrusive capacity to block radio waves.

The physicist duo thinks – this would have been a major factor during the ongoing military operation in 2002, with the natural anomaly hindering many communication scopes. As for that singular incident involving the Chinook, the aircraft was also found to be flying too close to the mountain, which significantly hampered its contact-transmission chances.

Plasma bubbles_Operation Anaconda_1

Via: News.Discovery

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