NASA on Tuesday said that the protective layer around the earth, that fends off the deadly solar radiation, is in trouble. A big chunk of the same is weakening and has resulted in a dent which is a cause of worry as per NASA.
The phenomenon is called South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). NASA said that the split is getting wider with each passing day. The SAA has been named after its location over South America and Southern Atlantic Ocean where the dent has been spotted.
The #SAA was deteriorating even faster, weakening by 8% since 1970. However, their models could not account for the bifurcation.— Business Insider India?? (@BiIndia) August 18, 2020
In the simplest way, you can understand it this way, whenever a satellite passes through the SAA, there is a risk that it might get hit by the sun’s energy protons as the magnetic field is not powerful enough to repel radiation at that place. This can cause computers to glitch and go out of business temporarily.
Also, a weak magnetic field means that radiations from the sun will get closer to the earth with their harmful effects intact. It would not only mess up the compasses, throwing bird navigations off and affects satellites in the space but could also affect human life int he future.
To protect the #satellites, most space agencies power down their satellites to nothing more than the essential components when passing over the anomaly. That is where tracking the anomaly becomes crucial.— Business Insider India?? (@BiIndia) August 18, 2020
As of now, the split hasn’t had effects on one’s daily life. But, its separation into two different anomalies will create additional challenges for satellite missions.
The dent has been in the making for 200 years— Business Insider India?? (@BiIndia) August 18, 2020
The magnetic field was already causing trouble when it skittered across the #Arctic, shifting the location of the true north.
“The South Atlantic Anomaly is also of interest to NASA’s Earth scientists who monitor the changes in magnetic field strength there, both for how such changes affect Earth’s atmosphere and as an indicator of what’s happening to Earth’s magnetic fields, deep inside the globe. Currently, the SAA creates no visible impacts on daily life on the surface. However, recent observations and forecasts show that the region is expanding westward and continuing to weaken in intensity. It is also splitting – recent data shows the anomaly’s valley or region of minimum field strength, has split into two lobes, creating additional challenges for satellite missions,” NASA said.