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Ionospheric Wave Split

January 8th Fact-of-the-Day

The earth's magnetic field can cause the ionosphere to have two refractive indexes, so that a single wave entering the ionosphere splits into two waves. Those two waves propagate from the split point onward with different absorptions, different phase velocities, and different polarization changes. One of those two waves behaves much as though the magnetic field was not present. It is called the 'ordinary ray.' The other wave is affected by the magnetic field, follows a different path, generally suffers greater attenuation, and is called the 'extraordinary ray.' ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.

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