Researchers have stumbled upon something incredible. It would appear that our planet’s magnetic field is dropping in intensity. This magnetic field is extremely important for life on our planet, as it protects us from the charged particles that the sun sends out and from other cosmic radiation.
Between Africa and South America, an enormous region has been observed where the intensity of the magnetic field has been at a minimum for the last five years. The region has been named the South Atlantic Anomaly.
Scientists believe that this phenomenon is evidence that Earth is on its way to reversing its magnetic poles, so the North and South Poles completely switch. This last happened 780,000 years ago. The South Atlantic Anomaly has wrecked satellites, and other space vessels flying through the region, and a lot of them are starting to experience technical issues.
This fascinating discovery was made by a group of researchers affiliated with the European Space Agency (ESA), who used data from the Swarm constellation, a group of satellites belonging to the space agency. The satellites in Swarm are specifically designed to identify and take measurements of various magnetic signals which together make up the magnetic field of our planet, thus allowing experts to notice areas that have lost some of their intensity.
The European Space Agency has been studying Earth’s magnetic field since 2013. Their mission has three identical satellites which all offer high-quality measurements of the field in three different orbital planes, for a complete overview of the magnetic field.
A researcher affiliated with the German Research Center for Geosciences, Jurgen Matzka, has said in an interview that the brand new, eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has turned up over the previous decade and has been growing quite strongly in the past few years.