An anomaly is changing the way the earth's magnetic field works, and a weak spot in the field is now becoming two zones in that particular magnetic zone.
The earth is covered by a magnetic field that spans the entire globe, but there is some unusual going on and it is making changes that will be serious for the planet, reported in Live Science.
What is under scrutiny is the South Atlantic Anomaly which spans from Africa and South America. As time passes, the magnetic field is lessening in intensity that is part of a trend occurring all over the globe.
Estimates confirmed by ESA (European Space Agency) has revealed that the global magnetic field in 200 years is 9% less from its original value. It seems this spot is where there is the most localized change at any point located on the earth. Satellites have been sent to this pinpoint location with a bothersome indicator of decreasing strength just southwest from the African location. All indicator are threatening a change that will split the magnetic field into two distinct low points.
As far as the changes go, an alteration in magnetic field intensity will not be a danger to life on earth. Instead, it reveals what is going on in the earth's core, said ESA. With all the ESA satellites running and checking the data to fully understand the phenomenon.
Is the magnetic field going haywire?
Without the earth's magnetic field, all devices like compasses and modern GPS will only be functional. Plus, this field is the only protection from energized solar particles which can cause a massive malfunction in electrical equipment.These fluctuations vital to understand, but this remains vague.
Inside the earth is a liquid iron core which moves and churns that creates the magnetic field, like the northern and southern pole of the planet. Shifts in weak and stronger fields are normal. It also add shifting of the poles periodically.
If the lessening intensity of the magnetic field is an indicator of another shift of the southern and northern magnetic poles, maybe there's a temporary glitch or flux in the field. If the shift does occur anytime soon, the South Atlantic Anomaly according to Science Alert will be the focal point if the magnetic shift.
Findings from the ESA Swarm constellation of satellites that were sent up in 2013 in the particular spot in the magnetic field to see what happens in the center of the anomaly. Another magnetic rift was seen, and what is happening is not yet known, reported ESA.
What lies under
News Max mentioned Jürgen Matzka, a geomagnetism researcher who noticed a new section of the South Atlantic Anomaly that appeared in the last 10 years, but is getting more pronounced in time. He said the Swarm satellites are analyzing what is happening in the anomaly and will learn more about all these changes.
ESA has mentioned that the field weakness can affect satellites going through from the ISS, low orbit satellites. There are times when communication is affected and CPUs will not work. In space, radiation bursts are white flashes that are seen from space by astronauts.
According to Terry Virts who told the BBC in 2018, "passing through the South Atlantic Anomaly, you need to get there fast as you can to the moon, or anywhere."
More needs to be done to understand why this is happening with a splitting magnetic field.
Related article: Large Ancient Galaxy Stopped Making Stars, Confusing Astronomers