Ionosphere

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  • The uppermost portion of the earth's atmosphere, situated above the stratosphere. Located approximately 80 kilometers from the surface of the earth, the ionosphere earns its name because it is ionized by solar radiation, sometimes referred to as solar wind. Comprising three distinct layers, the ionosphere facilitates the transmission of AM (amplitude modulated) radio frequency waves back to earth, as radio signals are actually reflected off of this layer of the atmosphere. It is important to note that FM (frequency modulated) radio and television wavelengths are too short to be reflected back to earth by the ionosphere and are instead transmitted via satellite.

    10.4135/9781412972024.n1370

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