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Space may be far closer to Earth, says a Harvard researcher



The Karman Line is the invisible boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space. It is located at an altitude of 100 kilometers and is the point that makes the difference between aeronautics and astronautics.

According to a new paper, the border should be considered 20 kilometers closer to Earth. Science Alert writes that this is the hypothesis of astrophysicist Jonathan C. McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

When a ship flies at a high altitude, the atmosphere becomes thinner, and to stay in the air, the ship must fly at a much faster speed. This is known as orbital velocity, and at the standard 100-kilometer limit, planes reach such a speed. But it is not just figures, the border being the place where jurisdiction is applied. Deleting this line has free space.

McDowell chose for his proposed boundary the 80-kilometer limit, located between the mesosphere and the upper thermosphere. The researcher has analyzed over 90 million orbital points provided by 43,000 satellites since 1957 so far. Most satellites fly at high altitudes, but he found that 50 of them are below the current border. The second step was to analyze the altitude point at which satellites tend to return to Earth. McDowell has discovered that the point is between 66 and 88 kilometers, where aerodynamic force trails from the dominant to the negligent.

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