South_Atlantic_Anomaly-Study_Probe

There is something wrong around us. Earth's magnetic field is weaking dramatlically. This magnetic field, like oversized coat of the earth, protects the entire species of the world from the harmful cosmic rays and solar storms. Due to the presence of swirling mass of liquid iron along with the charged particles in the outer core area of earth, it generates an electric field in that area, which is basically the consequence of the magnetic field of the earth. But rapid weaking of this invisible shield is now really a matter to worry about.

ADVERTISEMENT

This magnetic field of earth is not always stable, rather vary in its power or strength, and its position. Like as a recent study has revealed that the magnetic pole of earth is changing its position in a rapid pace.

'South Atlantic Anomaly'

However, earth's magnetic field above the stretch between South America and Africa, over the South Atlantic Ocean, is gradually losing out its strength. This unusual occurance is facing as a major technical problem to the remote sensing satellites which are currently orbiting the earth.

According to data provided by the European Space Agency, from about the early of  nineteenth century till date, earth's magnetic field has lost approximately 9% of its strength on a global average. This way, recently an agitating reduction of magnetic intensity has been deveoped over the stretch of South Atlantic Ocean. This area of low intensity of magnetic strength has named as 'South Atlantic Anomaly'.

The above video is showing the South Atlantic Anomaly impact radiation

Scientists are using data from the Swarm constellation of the European Space Agency to probe deep into this region as well as for a better understanding about this magnetic upheaval.

J├╝rgen Matzka, from the German Research Centre for Geosciences, stated,
The recent, eastern minimum of the 'South Atlantic Anomaly' has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing strenuously. We are very lucky to have the Swarm satellites in Earth's orbit to investigate the development of the 'South Atlantic Anomaly'. Now, the challenge is to understand the processes in Earth’s core driving these changes.
Swarm_constellation
Swarm Constellation | Image Courtesy : ESA

It is observed that almost 2000 nanotesla magnetic field strength of this region has declined (from 24,000 nanotesla to 22,000 nanotesla) over the last 50 years. Accordingly this spot is moving towards the west at a pace of 20 kilometres per year, and recently it is locating over the middle part of South America.

How can it affect technical work?

The main worry is about the 'technical malfunctions' faced by the onboard spacecrafts and remote sensing satellites, ESA mentioned. Because the spacecrafts or satellites in the LEO (Lower Earth Orbit) might have to face the charged particles when they will pass through the said weak magnetic field area.

ADVERTISEMENT

It seems to be splitting

After all these preliminary findings mentioned above, it is currently being speculated that the South Atlantic Anomaly seems to be splitting into two cells. ESA's Swarm constellation shows that over past five years a new centre or cell is developing in the east, wobbling over the coast of south west Africa.

The above video is showing the development of new cell within the South Atlantic Anomaly

It is still unknown to the scientists that, how will the new cell within the South Atlantic Anomaly develop? But scientists speculating that this disruption or weakening of earth's magnetic field is indicating for an 'eminent pole reversal' that means the switching of the place of north and south magnetic poles. Researchers suggest it as a recurrent phenomenon which takes place approximately every 2,50,000 years.

However, splitting of South Atlantic Anomaly is not quite clear so far; in that regard ESA has said,
The mystery of the emergence of 'South Atlantic Anomaly' has yet to be solved.



Learn More

Post a Comment

Please do not enter any spam link in the comment box

Previous Post Next Post