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Earth’s magnetic field weakens 

  • IASbaba
  • May 26, 2020
  • 0
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Earth’s magnetic field weakens 

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-I – Geographical phenomenon

In News:

  • As per the reports, the magnetic field around the earth, on an average, has lost almost 10% of its strength over the last two centuries. 
  • The magnetic field of the earth protects us from the solar radiation.

Key takeaways 

  • A rapid shrink has been observed in the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). 
  • One most speculated reason behind this is that there is a chance that the time for Earth’s pole reversal is approaching. 
  • Pole reversal happens when the north and south magnetic poles flip. 
  • This flip does not occur immediately or suddenly. 
  • It takes place over centuries and while it is taking place, there would be multiple north and south magnetic poles during this period, all around the planet.
  • This is not the first time for the  pole reversal to take place.
  • These reversals take place roughly every 250,000 years. 
  • This is not going to affect or alarm the general public.
  • However, It is causing technical difficulties for various satellites and spacecrafts. 
  • As the magnetic field becomes weaker, charged particles from the cosmos can penetrate through to the altitudes at which low-Earth orbiting satellites fly.

Important value additions 

South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA)

  • SAA is a stretch between Africa and South America. 
  • It is an area where the Earth’s inner Van Allen radiation belt comes closest to the Earth’s surface.  
  • The SAA is the near-Earth region where the Earth’s magnetic field is weakest relative to an idealized Earth-centered dipole field.

A Van Allen radiation belt

  • It is a zone of energetic charged particles, most of which originate from the solar wind, that are captured by and held around a planet by that planet’s magnetic field.
  • Earth has two such belts and sometimes others may be temporarily created.

Image source: Click here

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