Only now researchers are discovering a hitherto unknown effect of Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket

The rocket launches of the private space company SpaceX led by CEO Elon Musk have become a spectacle for space fans around the world.

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As it became known, the  launch of a SpaceX rocket last August not only left its mark on space travel, but also left its mark on our Earth’s atmosphere.

SpaceX rocket with huge shockwave

The Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX launched on 24 August 2017 a reconnaissance satellite on board. The satellite weighed relatively little at 475 kilograms, which is why the rocket flew almost vertically. This is unusual because rockets usually fly at a certain angle. If they break the sound barrier, then it usually comes to a V-shaped shock wave. But since the rocket shot almost vertically upward, the shockwave was round.

The shock wave was four times the size of the state of California, which is very unusual even for such a large rocket.

Researchers at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan have published a study on the unusual launch in the journal Space Weather . According to the researchers, it was the largest circular shock wave they ever registered. Lead author of the study Charles Lin said the shockwave had a perfect circular shape.

Only now researchers are discovering a hitherto unknown effect of Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

The rocket launches of the private space company SpaceX led by CEO Elon Musk have become a spectacle for space fans around the world.

As it became known, the  launch of a SpaceX rocket last August not only left its mark on space travel, but also left its mark on our Earth’s atmosphere.

SpaceX rocket with huge shockwave

The Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX launched on 24 August 2017 a reconnaissance satellite on board. The satellite weighed relatively little at 475 kilograms, which is why the rocket flew almost vertically. This is unusual because rockets usually fly at a certain angle. If they break the sound barrier, then it usually comes to a V-shaped shock wave. But since the rocket shot almost vertically upward, the shockwave was round.

The shock wave was four times the size of the state of California, which is very unusual even for such a large rocket.

Researchers at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan have published a study on the unusual launch in the journal Space Weather. According to the researchers, it was the largest circular shock wave they ever registered. Lead author of the study Charles Lin said the shockwave had a perfect circular shape.

The launch of the SpaceX rocket last August was the 40th launch of the space company, meanwhile, SpaceX has already made 50 missile launches.

SpaceX creates up to 1,000 kilometers wide hole in the atmosphere

Normally satellites are placed in orbit at a height of 200 kilometers. In this flight, however, the orbit was at 720 kilometers.

The launch of the SpaceX rocket has torn a hole in the ionosphere, as the ejection of the rocket with the charged particles reacted. This hole was significantly larger than usual due to the vertical launch (usually the hole is about 60 kilometers wide, but here it was 1,000 kilometers due to the large shockwave).

The hole was not long lasting. After two hours it closed again. In this short time, however, it caused inaccuracies in GPS data, which usually have to penetrate the ionosphere layer. The deviations may have been up to one meter during this period.

The results are interesting in the sense that more such incidents could occur in the future as more private companies explore the universe.

Read Also : SpaceX: Green Light For Starlink Project, The Internet For All

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