Strong Magnetic Field Oddity Discovered Over South Atlantic

Scientists spotted a long-standing weak point in Earth’s magnetic field that might be breaking into two distinct areas of weakness. The South Atlantic Anomaly is a part of Earth’s magnetic field between Africa and South America. For years, that area became weaker, part of a global trend. According to the ESA (the European Space Agency), Earth’s magnetic field has lost 9 % of its strength over the last 200 years. 

Currently, satellites monitoring the anomaly have discovered an intensified weakening southwest of Africa. Such a thing suggests that the anomaly could divide into two separate low points. This change might not signal any imminent danger. It can unveil what’s going on in the Earth’s core to trigger the changes, according to the ESA. 

A Fluctuating Field

The magnetic field is why the GPS and compasses work. It shields Earth from charged solar particles that can destroy electrical equipment. So, its fluctuations are more significant than we can imagine. Unfortunately, they’re poorly understood. 

The magnetic field isn’t as tidy and neat as the one made by a typical bar magnet. It possesses some points of strength and weakness, with north and south switching places. The recent weakening process of our planet’s magnetic field could predict another one of those switches, or it might be a temporary fluctuation. According to recent research, if the field does shift, then the South Atlantic Anomaly is possibly the source of the change.

A Mystery Beneath 

The ESA’s Swarm constellation of satellites sent back in 2013, is examining the anomaly for any changes that could tell what’s happening in the core. So far, the satellites found that the South Atlantic Anomaly has made a second center of minimum magnetic intensity. 

“The new, eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing vigorously,” said Jurgen Matzka, a geomagnetism researcher. The challenge is now to find out why the processes in the planet’s core trigger those changes. 

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1 Comment

  1. Good day
    In the week between the 24th May and the 31st May 2020 marine vessel passing through 32 degrees South 11 degrees East has caused their magnectic Gyro Compass to spiral out of control causing the vessel to loose total control and sending these vessel on a collition course. in 1 such case the vessels The Strong and Willowy and 4 other vessels had such and experience almost causing them to collide only after they discovered their gyrocompass was compromised they reverted to the old magnectic compass releasing the vessel from the spiral they were experiencing. So if there was warning system in place advising vessels that this Anomoly is taking place and to avoid using their magnectic systems this would be great

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