Scientists find hole in Earth's magnetic field

from the Washington Post:

Scientists find hole in Earth’s magnetic field

LOS ANGELES – Recent satellite observations have revealed the largest breach yet seen in the magnetic field that protects Earth from most of the sun’s violent blasts, researchers reported Tuesday. The discovery was made last summer by Themis, a fleet of five small NASA satellites.

Scientists have long known that the Earth’s magnetic field, which guards against severe space weather, is similar to a drafty old house that sometimes lets in violent eruptions of charged particles from the sun. Such a breach can cause brilliant auroras or disrupt satellite and ground communications.

Observations from Themis show the Earth’s magnetic field occasionally develops two cracks, allowing solar wind _ a stream of charged particles spewing from the sun at 1 million mph _ to penetrate the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Last summer, Themis calculated a layer of solar particles to be at least 4,000 miles thick in the outermost part of the Earth’s magnetosphere, the largest tear of the protective shield found so far.
“It was growing rather fast,” Themis scientist Marit Oieroset of the University of California, Berkeley told an American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Where did I put Al Gore’s cell #?

A Nobel Prize to the first person to “prove” that the hole in the magentosphere is caused by human activity.

This has nothing to do with the ozone layer…Here is a link that uses a simple language and may help spike your interest in this exciting natural process in action.

Also there is really nothing to worry about. Even with the increase in radiation, it is still far from lethal levels and may only be marked by a small increase in skin cancer.

And it’s unlikely to change much in several human lifetimes. BTW, the effect appears to be changes in convection currents of molten iron in the outer core of the Earth, which is a fluid.

Saw this in the B’ham News. I noticed that it doesn’t say where this magnetic rift is.


Oh, not another hole! :eek:

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