Researchers analyzing a strange phenomenon coupled with a telescope reading have reached the conclusion that our planet’s magnetosphere cracked temporarily last year, in the summer, for a number of hours.
The magnetosphere is one of the most important elements and the first line of defense of our Earth existence as it can be counted amongst other elements vital for the human life.
The magnetosphere is a gigantic magnetic force field which surrounds the Earth and protects it from disruptive or potentially deadly space elements such as solar winds and radiations, to name just a few.
Last year, on June 22, one of the Earth-bound telescopes registered an enormous galactic ray burst which affected our magnetosphere.
The Ooty, India-based GRAPES-3 muon telescopes pertaining to TIFR or the Tate Institute of Fundamental Research recorded the aforementioned effects of a solar flare.
The giant solar flare was calculated to have hit our planet at a speed of about 2.5 million kph for a period of about two hours.
The cosmic rays caused radio signal blackouts throughout both North and South America and led to the formation of an aurora borealis.
The Cosmic Ray Laboratory of the Tate Institute team of researchers conducted a series of studies which led to some concerning results which were recently published in the Physical Review Letters.
According to their results, the cosmic rays produced such evident disturbances because the magnetosphere is thought to have shrunk and cracked.
As the 2-hour long cosmic ray radiation bombarded the protection field, it is believed to have caused the magnetosphere to shrink from 4 up to 11 times the radius of Earth.
Along with shrinking, the magnetosphere is also believed to have cracked, which would have allowed the temporary passing through of cosmic ray particles.
The low energy rays could have passed through the Earth’s atmosphere and then proceeded to cause both the unpleasant blackouts and the pleasant aurora borealis.
Although the event had a limited duration and produced no currently noticeable long-lasting effects, scientists point out that this was not the first and most probably will not be the last such space bombardment.
The recent study argues that the magnetosphere’s ability to protect Earth and deflect the various cosmic rays can potentially be weakened by a geomagnetic storm similar to the June 2015 one.
Solar magma could also potentially lead to the magnetosphere’s stretching at the poles. As the magnetized solar magma would stretch the field, the latter element could potentially lose some of its deflection abilities and allow the entrance of charged particles in our atmosphere.
The passing through of such solar storm supercharged particles could have more serious effects and lead to major disruptions in the human civilization common activities.
It could lead to blackouts or even more permanent damages to our electrical power grids, satellite and communication operations and to the global positioning system.
The recent research was the result of a series of extensive simulations and has been and will continue being analyzed by the scientific community.
Image Source: Flickr