Researchers track slowly splitting 'dent' in Earth's magnetic fieldChristian Fernsby ▼ | August 18, 2020
A small but evolving dent in Earth's magnetic field can cause big headaches for satellites.
Researchers South Atlantic Anomaly
The South Atlantic Anomaly is also of interest to NASA's Earth scientists who monitor the changes in magnetic field strength there, both for how such changes affect Earth's atmosphere and as an indicator of what's happening to Earth's magnetic fields, deep inside the globe.
Currently, the SAA creates no visible impacts on daily life on the surface. However, recent observations and forecasts show that the region is expanding westward and continuing to weaken in intensity. It is also splitting recent data shows the anomaly's valley, or region of minimum field strength, has split into two lobes, creating additional challenges for satellite missions.
A host of NASA scientists in geomagnetic, geophysics, and heliophysics research groups observe and model the SAA, to monitor and predict future changes and help prepare for future challenges to satellites and humans in space. ■