Analysis of a disrupted SOS signal during an early polar expedition showcases the importance of taking space weather into account when exploring new frontiers.
Eos, the magazine of the American Geophysical Union, spoke with research professor Delores Knipp about how space weather impacted an early airship expedition to the North Pole.
After the dirgible crashed on sea ice, the crew tried to radio for help, but no one responded. Their receiver could pick up news broadcasts from thousands of miles away, but their SOS signal went unheard. The culprit? A radio skip zone caused by an unlucky confluence of space weather disturbances.