Strange Dent In Earth Magnetic Field That Is Growing & Splitting Noticed By NASA
Meet the South Atlantic Anomaly, a wierd dent in Earth magnetic flux that’s growing and splitting. It has been there for many years , but over time the anomaly has slowly changed. Although you’d never notice anything was wrong from the bottom , for satellites, changes to the magnetic flux that envelopes Earth are often an enormous deal — hence NASA interest within the anomaly and its activities.
The connection comes because the magnetic flux blocks charged particles spewed out by the Sun from reaching Earth. But at the South Atlantic Anomaly, the sector is dented, lowering the protective barrier above that a part of Earth. The lower barrier means more radiation bombards satellites as they fly over this region, triggering occasional shutdowns to avoid potential damage to the hardware, consistent with a NASA statement.
The International Space Platform is one among the various spacecraft that fly through the anomaly, but it carries extra shielding to guard the astronauts who live and add orbit from radiation. Other spacecraft that fly through the anomaly send NASA valuable observations about how the feature is changing, just like the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON), which the agency launched last year partially to watch the weak part within the field after the retirement of its Solar, Anomalous, and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX) mission in 2012. Among other changes, those observations have shown that the “dent“ is moving westward and splitting in two.
These observations are valuable due to the complexity of studying the magnetic flux , which traces its roots to liquid metal moving within Earth core, then is formed by a variety of phenomena because it ripples out from the middle of the earth , consistent with NASA.
Those interactions mean that more data about changes within the magnetic flux can cause a number of valuable results — not just a far better understanding of what the anomaly is doing now so as to warn approaching satellites, but also more nuanced models of what is happening deep inside the world , and in fact , more accurate predictions of how the anomaly will change into the future .
“Even though the SAA (South Atlantic Anomaly) is slow-moving, it’s browsing some change in morphology, so it is also important that we keep observing it by having continued missions,” Terry Sabaka, a Geophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said within the statement. “Because that is what helps us make models and predictions.”