A ‘Dent’ in Earth’s Protective Layer is Splitting into Two Weakening Magnetic Field, Says NASA

Video grab of a South Atlantic Anomaly, or SAA.
(Credit: NASA)

Video grab of a South Atlantic Anomaly, or SAA.
(Credit: NASA)

As an effect, this will mess up with navigation and cause ‘a serious headache’ for satellite missions involved in collecting data.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: August 18, 2020, 9:22 PM IST

The weak spot on Earth’s surface that protects us from the deadly solar radiation is splitting into two with the gap growing wider, states NASA.

Located somewhere over South America and the southern Atlantic ocean, the phenomenon called South Atlantic Anomaly ( SAA) is weakening Earth’s magnetic field by creating a dent on it which in turn is attracting the solar particles closer than before to the surface.

As an effect, this will mess up with navigation and cause ‘a serious headache’ for satellite missions involved in collecting data.

As per reports Earth’s magnetic field was already in for troubles when it “skittered across the Arctic” shifting the true north, losing 9% of its strength over an average of 200 years. However, the SAA has been reported to weaken it’s magnetic field even faster, by 8% since 1970, reports the Insider.

Following the events NASA confirms that this is a result of the Anomally splitting up.

The effect of the phenomenon will have far reaching effect beyond Earth’s surface, particularly affecting the near-space environment where satellites are launched.

Often satellites passing through this area exposed to risks of being hit with the high-energy proton from the Sun and due to a weak magnetic field to resist it, the satellites start showing temporary glitches or become out of service.

To reduce the chances of this happening too often in future, scientists from ESA and NASA are now keeping a constant tab on Earth’s weakening magnetic field.


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