28 May, 2020
6 Min Read
South Atlantic Anomaly
Part of: GS-I Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the Swarm constellation of satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA) has updated the development of South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). The South Atlantic Anomaly signifies weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field between Africa and South America. However, it has been observed that the present dip in intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field is within the normal fluctuation levels.
Swarm Constellation Mission
Earth’s Magnetic Field
Earth’s magnetic field, or the geomagnetic field, is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth’s interior out into space exerting a force on the charged particles emanating from the Space including Sun. The earth’s south magnetic pole is actually near the North Pole and the magnetic north pole is near the South Pole. This is why a compass magnet’s North Pole actually points north (Since opposite poles attract each other)
Reasons for Presence:
The magnetic field of the Earth is due to the metallic and liquid outer core of the planet. The outer core of the planet is like a giant dynamo. The rotation of the Earth creates movements inside the liquid outer core which gives rise to the geomagnetic field.
Intensification of SAA (Weakening of Magnetic Field)
Significance of SAA:
It has been speculated that the current weakening of the field is a sign of the pole reversal of the earth– in which the north and south magnetic poles may switch places.
Pole reversal is not an uncommon event and it takes place every 250,000 years. Last it had happened 7.8 lakh years ago.
Additionally, the SAA is expected to help to understand the processes in Earth’s core and future developments in the earth’s interior.
Source: Business Line
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