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Earth’s magnetic field weakens, affecting satellites and spacecraft: a report



The Earth’s magnetic field is gradually weakening in an area that stretches from Africa to South America, and scientists are trying to understand why.

This weakening also causes technical disturbances in some satellites orbiting the Earth.

Scientists are using data from the European Space Agency’s Royak constellation to improve our understanding of this area, which is known as the South Atlantic Anomaly.

Among other things, the Earth’s magnetic field protects humanity from cosmic radiation and supercharged particles emitted by the sun. According to the ESA, the magnetic field is generated by extremely hot rotating liquid iron, which contains the outer core of the planet ̵

1; which is about 3,000 kilometers below our feet.

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The magnetic field is thought to be generated by an ocean of superheated, rotating liquid iron, which is the Earth's outer core.

The magnetic field is thought to be generated by an ocean of superheated, rotating liquid iron, which is the Earth’s outer core.
(ESA / ATG Medialab)

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“The new, eastern minimum of the anomaly in the South Atlantic has emerged over the last decade and has developed vigorously in recent years,” said Jürgen Macka of the German Science Research Center in a statement. “We are very lucky that swarm satellites are in orbit to study the development of the anomaly in the South Atlantic. The challenge now is to understand the processes in the Earth’s core driving these changes.”

Researchers speculate that the current weakening of the magnetic field is a sign that the Earth is heading for a visible reversal of the poles – in which the north and south magnetic poles switch places.

Although this may sound dramatic, this type of event has occurred throughout the long history of the planet, at a rate of about once every 250,000 years, according to the ESA.


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