Earth’s Planetary Heartbeat Detected in Space

Earth’s Planetary Heartbeat Detected in Space

Imagine all of the lightning flashing in the sky around the world at a given moment. The casual observer might think this is a rather isolated incident, given the times they can remember seeing lightning. but on a global scale, our Earth fires up the sky about 50 times a second. All of that energy discharges into the atmosphere, creating a series of electromagnetic waves.


The Schuman resonance is created by lightning flashes (blue, green and red)

circling the Earth, forming a varying electromagnetic wave, or planetary "heartbeat"

credit: NASA/Simoes

These waves will build and decrease in strength over time, creating a virtual "heartbeat" of the planet we call home. It is believed that understanding this planetary heartbeat, called the Schuman Resonance, will help us better understand the atmosphere and, consequently, our own weather.

But now scientists have detected the Schuman resonance from space, and it is found areas beyond the ionosphere. According to Fernando Simoes, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,

"Researchers didn't expect to observe these resonances in space. But it turns out that energy is leaking out and this opens up many other possibilities to study our planet from above."

This is exciting news because it opens up a new avenue of study. While there have been literally hundreds of studies on the Schuman resonance, it has all been done from a terrestrial vantage point. But with the new information, the resonance, which has been found to change with the seasons, solar activity, and even water aerosols in the atmosphere, may soon unlock a deeper understanding of our planet and its atmospheric life.

The resonance was detected by the C/NOFS satellite at an altitude of 250 to 500 miles. During the data extrapolation, the team found the heartbeat during almost every complete orbit around the Earth. In total, this gave around 10,000 data collections, more than enough to provide a basis for preliminary study.

While we are not there yet, it might be that one day we can take the heartbeat pulse of the Earth, much as you doctor does a person during a checkup, to get a quick indication of planetary health. Now if everyone would just say "aaah"…


Tesla's Global Waves

The first documented observations of global electromagnetic resonance were made by Nikola Tesla at his Colorado Springs laboratory in 1899. This observation led to certain peculiar conclusions about the electrical properties of the earth, and which made the basis for his idea for wireless energy transmission.