The acronym is inspiring (AMAS), but the meaning is still a mystery to science: it is the Magnetic Anomaly of the South Atlantic, a kind of lag in the Earth’s magnetic protection located over the South Atlantic, more specifically in the South and Southeast regions of the Brazil, a strip that extends to the African continent.
To try to understand the phenomenon
, experts study the planet’s magnetic field, which is generated in the superheated liquid iron core at least 3,000 kilometers deep. The magnetic field, a kind of protective shield against cosmic radiation and solar winds, arises from the electric currents in the region, among other factors.
Scientists claim that this magnetic field is dynamic and by varying the intensity in force and direction it can generate effects such as You love
. It is still studied and monitored by space agencies, such as ESA (European Space Agency), Nasa (North American space agency) and also from Brazil, which recently launched a nanosatellite with this mission, NanosatC-BR2.
At first, space agencies want to understand the phenomenon that can damage satellites that pass through the orbit of Terra
, explains the doctor in Physics and researcher at the National Observatory, Marcel Nogueira.
” Why do space agencies have an interest in anomaly
? Because as this region has a weaker field, particles from the solar wind enter this region more easily, the flow of charged particles that pass through that area is much more intense. This means that when satellites pass through this region, they sometimes have to stay in stand by, momentarily turning off some components to prevent the loss of the satellite, of any equipment that may burn. Because the radiation, mainly electrons, in this region is very strong. So it is in the interest of space agencies to constantly monitor the evolution of this anomaly, especially in this central band, ” he explains.
has already warned of the gradual growth of Amas between 1970 and 2020. According to a study published last year, the Earth’s magnetic field has lost 9% of strength in the last 200 years, being the biggest impact in the region of the anomaly.
In addition to the functioning of satellites
, experts warn that with the drop in the rear at a specific point on the planet, we are more susceptible to magnetic storms that can affect the technological daily life on Earth.
For Marcel Nogueira, understanding these peculiarities can guide the precaution of blackouts, such as what happened in Quebec, Canada, in 1989, when millions of inhabitants were without electricity and had radio transmissions interrupted.
“If people study storms, we are in a position to improve our electricity distribution system and protect, avoid these blackouts. Because in the life that we have today, so dependent on technology, any type of blackout in the electrical system, of any country, generates losses of millions or even billions of dollars. It is something very important for our technological life, ” he says.
In Brazil, in addition to the nanosatellite launched into space in March in a partnership with the Russian Space Agency, there are also two magnetic observatories that, among other missions, are focused on answering questions about this anomaly: Vassouras, in Rio de Janeiro, and Tatuoca, in the Amazon. Both are part of the Global Network of Magnetic Observatories, Intermagnet.
According to Marcel Nogueira, those who operate in the Brazil
they are very modern, despite the fact that geomagnetism is one of the oldest sciences of mankind. He says that the work on the planet’s orbit, done by satellites, and on the ground, by observatories, are complementary.
“In addition to being an extremely old science, they serve for relevant measurements, study geomagnetic phenomena, they also serve as a source of calibration for the satellites that are making measurements. They are complementary methods. ”
On the mystery of South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly
, popularly associated with events in the Bermuda Triangle
, Marcel prefers to say that the phenomenon is much more of a technological challenge and that there are no conclusions that indicate risks of the flow of cosmic radiation in human life.
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