May 22, 2020
Scientists have made a shocking discovery – the Earth’s magnetic field is weakening.
The magnetic field is vital for life on our planet, as it shields us from cosmic radiation and charged particles emitted from the sun.
A large region of reduced magnetic intensity has been observed between Africa and South America, called the South Atlantic Anomaly, and it has formed a center of minimum intensity in just five years.
Researchers are speculating that the weakening is a sign that Earth is heading to a pole reversal, which is when the north and south poles switch places – and the last time this occurred was 780,000 years ago.
The anomaly is wreaking havoc on satellites and other spacecraft flying through the area, as many are experiencing technical malfunctions.
The discovery was made by a team at the European Space Agency (ESA) who pulled data from the agency’s Swarm constellation, which is a cluster of satellites.
The satellites are specifically designed to identify and measure the different magnetic signals that make up Earth’s magnetic field, allow experts to spot areas that have weakened.
ESA has been studying the magnetic field since the end of 2013.
The mission is comprised of three identical satellites that provide high quality measurements of field in three different orbital planes.
This article was posted: Friday, May 22, 2020 at 3:25 am