Space

Scientists discover crack in Earth’s magnetic field; Here’s how it will affect us

In this handout from NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory, a solar large flare erupts off the sun June 7, 2011 in space.
In this handout from NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory, a solar large flare erupts off the sun June 7, 2011 in space.

Recently, scientists have spotted a crack in the earth’s magnetic shield and the findings lead to the assumptions among the people that the protective layer of our earth is slowly vanishing. But the question here arises is that the assumption is true or just a myth?

According to a report published on Wired, back in 2015, huge geomagnetic storms in the northern hemisphere were caused due to a large amount of galactic cosmic rays leak into the Earth’s atmosphere. The cosmic rays also add noise to the communication signals and their penetration from the atmosphere also knocks out radio signals.

The crack was discovered by the largest and most advanced cosmic ray monitor, located at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’s Cosmic Ray laboratory in Ooty, Tamilnadu, India. The cosmic ray monitor talked above is the GRAPES-3 muon telescope.

Science Alert in a post stated that it was the powerful geomagnetic storms in recent history. And the cosmic bombardment, with speed of about 2.5 million kilometers per hour, was so unyielding, shown by the results of the researchers’ numerous simulations. The bombardment is also forcing the earth to shrink its radius from 11 to 4 times by the compression of the magnetosphere.

Explaining in detail, Katherine Wright on the American Physical Society website said, “Earth’s magnetic field deflects most cosmic rays, protecting living things from harmful radiation. But large geomagnetic storms can reconfigure this protective shield, opening up weak spots that let radiation and cosmic rays slip through. This vulnerability can occur when magnetized plasma from the Sun deforms Earth’s magnetic field, stretching its shape at the poles and diminishing its ability to deflect charged particles.”

The science-based blog, Science Explorer also explained that the there is not much to worry about as of now because solar storms will not majorly affect the human civilisation. But the case when it occurs it could interrupt technology and damage infrastructure. The website also warned that the solar storms could be dangerous for the astronauts who are in space, while, there is no threat for the people on earth until the radiation bombardment ensues in the long run. These storms can also cause a change in climate and increase rates of cancer.

The geomagnetic triggered by the explosion caused aurora borealis and radio signal blackouts in many nations at high latitudes. This claim has been made through a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters this week.  Well, life still exists on earth as the magnetosphere of the earth extended across a radius of millions kilometer, that appeared as the first protective line.

Otherwise, it could have caused destruction through rigorous and extremely powerful radiation of solar and galactic cosmic ray flow. Solar storms can result into extreme destruction to life on earth by paralyzing massive electrical power grids, important GPS systems, satellite functionalities and other communication means.

The scientists concluded in their report that they are unable to repair the existing crack, however, the can study further to make up prepare in case more of it will occur in the future.

Source: Nature World News

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  • it won’t affect us, because it happened and it’s over. This is merely measuring transient effects of solar wind and plasma on the Earth magnetic field. It happens all the time, in fact, it will happen later today or tomorrow when a CME hits earth triggering a geomagnetic storm. This report is simply the measuring and understanding of the effects using new instruments. Get over it, the sun will kill us all one day, but not today.

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