A dent on Earth’s magnetic field may affect the ISS!
You all must agree that a dent on your car can transform your dad’s facial expressions, beware of that frown! Now imagine a dent on our Earth’s magnetic shield and then imagine the frown on nature’s forehead! Scary right?
The US space agency Nasa has said the widening dent in the Earth’s magnetic shield has far-reaching effects on satellites, space missions and navigation.
The magnetic field on which the dent has occurred protects the Earth from particle radiation of the Sun. With the South Atlantic Anomaly widening, the weak spot is letting the harmful particle radiation from the Sun come near to the surface. Not only that, this anomaly also affects satellites that pass through the area and tamper with the navigation.
What’s South Atlantic Anomaly?
The South Atlantic Anomaly has existed on the Earth’s magnetic field for years. South Atlantic Anomaly is caused by processes in the Earth. The tilt of the magnetic axis and the molten core of the Earth both cause the dent in the magnetic field. As the Earth’s North Pole and South Pole are not perfectly aligned, the tilt in the axis leads to this anomaly combined with the motions on the outer layer of the molten core.
The South Atlantic Anomaly is capable of meddling with the navigation and data collecting systems of space missions and satellites that pass through this area. With the weak magnetic field, satellites can be hit with particle radiation from the Sun and they risk suffering short circuits, glitches and permanent damage.
This could even affect the International Space Station!
The European Space Agency has said that the magnetic field has lost 9% strength over the past 200 years. The weak spot in this shield has further worsened 8% since 1970. Now, Nasa has said that the dent is splitting into two lobes.
Animals which take long migrations may depend on the magnetic field for a guide. Some migratory animals know their locations by the intensity of the field. They know the time because of circadian rhythms the field produces. Migratory animals are born with a magnetic map in their head that allows them to migrate great distances safely.