Earth’s magnetic field is now a big concern for many scientists as this is not the first time that it is shifting. A polar reversal is imminent and the planet’s magnetism is losing its strength. The magnetic field of our planet provides a protective layer that keeps us safe from the harmful cosmic radiation and high-energy emissions of the Sun. The South Atlantic Anomaly is one of the most dangerous ones out there.
For the research study, the group of scientists focused on a specific region in the magnetic field known as the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). This region normally spans over South America to Africa and has been identified as the weakest point in Earth’s magnetic field.
Earth’s magnetic field is getting weaker every day
This is a very important discussion about the Earth’s magnetic field because it is a point of concern to space vehicles too. Satellites that pass under the SAA get more exposed to radiation compared to other parts of the magnetic field. The problematic, unpredictable behavior in the South Atlantic region causes technical disturbances in Earth’s orbiting satellites and spacecraft, which has left experts baffled.
The region is a scientist-to-scientist discussion, some of whom wonder where it comes from, and whether it could signify the field’s complete weakening and even an imminent pole reversal. The magnetic field on Earth protects our atmosphere from the solar wind, a stream of charged particles coming from the sun. The geomagnetic field is not constant in force and direction and is capable of flipping or reversing itself.
The South Atlantic Phenomenon is a region that extends from Africa to South America, where the magnetic field on Earth slowly weakens. The SAA has been growing for the past 50 years. Due to the expansion of the weak point in the magnetic field, some scientists speculated that it could trigger a polar reversal soon.
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The scientists have learned that volcanic rocks showed varying levels of magnetic field direction, suggesting that they were affected by the presence of the SAA. The scientists presented their findings in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
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Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.