Scientists saw a “crack” magnetic shield of the Earth

MOSCOW, 3 Dec – RIA Novosti. Indian physicists saw as the magnetic shield of Earth that protects us from solar flares and cosmic rays, occasionally “crack” and skips through cosmic rays in cases when it cut emissions of the Sun, according to a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The earth, unlike Venus and other planets in the Solar system, has its own magnetic field, which is generated by the movement of the liquid streams of metal in its core. This magnetic field plays the role of a “shield”, which reflects cosmic rays, charged particles of high energies, and protects the Earth from solar wind and coronal mass ejections on the Sun.

Traces of its existence are the so-called van Allen belts — two regions at altitudes of about 6 thousand and 60 thousand kilometers from the Earth’s surface, where there are a large number of protons and electrons of high energies, “caught” the Earth’s magnetic field and moving in a kind of a magnetic trap. Their interaction with the atmosphere produces beautiful polar lights, and, in times of solar flares, caused radio interference and other technical problems.

The Indian telescope of the GRAPES-3 revealed an unusual “gaps” in these protective zones, observing the effects of solar flares at the end of June 2015. On this day the Sun in the sun, an outbreak of class M2, which was shining threw to the Ground in a giant cloud of hot plasma, which collided with the planet magnetosphere at about 4 p.m. Moscow time and caused her to shrink almost three times.

This process, as shown by the observations of Indian scientists, was accompanied by a sharp increase in the number of muons of high energy charged particles, heavy “cousins” of electrons that occur in the atmosphere by collisions of cosmic rays with air molecules. Increased concentration of muons, the researchers note, was observed for two hours that caused them to explore what caused this process.

As noted by the authors, a similar outbreak in the rate of “bombardment” of the Earth by cosmic rays were unusual for the reason that at that time in India it was midnight, and the point where the GRAPES-3 were located actually on the opposite side of the zone of a planet’s magnetosphere, where he hit the ejection from the Sun.

Using the data collected with this telescope, scientists have built a computer model of the magnetic shield of the Earth and tried to understand for example what could cause such a sharp flash in the intensity of cosmic rays. Their calculations showed that this is likely not to blame some outer factors, such as the explosions of supernovae or gamma-ray burst, and the Earth itself.

Scientists believe that the collision of coronal mass ejections with magnetosphere has led to the fact that it is, figuratively speaking, “hold” – in it there was a kind of hole in the collisions of magnetic field lines with each other, their reconnection and explosive energy release.

These holes were closed immediately, and thus cosmic rays could actually freely bombard the Earth in the regions over such a “crack” for two hours, and the very magnetic field “helped” particles to fall on the night side of the planet, tightening their trajectory in a special way.

This fact, as according to Indian researchers, should be considered when building and sending satellites into orbit, as the discovery of such “cracks” on them can bring the probe out of action or deprived of its connection with the Earth. In addition, such phenomena can be dangerous for the ISS crew. Therefore, the authors recommend to conduct a series of experiments with the AMS instrument aboard the station to evaluate the potential hazard to astronauts and cosmonauts.