VIIRS, on the night of July 17th 2017, spotted several fires on land – and also one at sea, on the right of the image.NASA

Most of us love a good ghost story, so seeing as it’s Halloween, I thought I’d try to find something suitably spooky, and geoscience-y, to share. Fortunately, I’ve found a doozy: the Twitter account of NASA’s Earth Observatory recently shared the story of a phantom fire that appeared in an unlikely place – the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

You can check out the original post by EO’s Adam Voiland here, but I’ll try to add some extra context this time around. Either way, this tale’s too good not to retell.

High above our heads, the Suomi NPP satellite drifts, peering down at the planet’s surface. One of its instruments, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is – as the name suggests – pretty good at picking up on anomalous thermal signatures.

That’s not all it does. Whether it’s looking at the planet’s ice cover, its oceans and seas or its forests, mountains and valleys, it’s providing scientists at NASA with some rather beautiful reams of data. From the nighttime streetlights of the United States, to the sweeping, particulate-filled clouds over China, it’s nothing short of invaluable – and it’s extremely good at what it’s designed to do.

On July 14th 2017, however, it looked like it was having a bit of an off day. Several hundreds of kilometers east of the coast of Brazil, in the South Atlantic Ocean, it picked up on a potent thermal signature at night. Such anomalies are almost always fires, but this presented a problem: how could there be a huge fire in the sea? There’s nothing out there that could cause a fire that intense, so what the heck was it?

It turns out that the explanation is linked to a far greater mystery: the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly, or SAMA.

Earth, rather famously, has a magnetic field. Why it has one isn’t fully clear, but the basics are known. Earth has a liquid, iron-rich outer core that, thanks to the way the planet is cooling down, contains currents that move up and down in colossal ellipses. Thanks to the dynamo theory, which neatly links up electricity and magnetism, this creates a magnetic field, complete with north and south poles a bit like a bar magnet.

Most of this magnetic energy remains stuck beneath our feet, but at the magnetic poles – which, unlike the geographic poles, move slowly over time – gatherings of magnetic field lines streak out into space and circle back again. It’s at these points where the interaction between the magnetic field and the Sun’s incoming stream of energetic particles is strongest, which is why we get the aurorae there.

A magnetic field isn’t just there to put on an ethereal show of multi-colored incandescence above our heads. Its ability to deflect powerful solar radiation means that critters and creatures on the surface isn’t constantly bombarded by it, so in a very real sense it’s a lifesaver.

As aforementioned, there’s plenty we don’t know about Earth’s magnetic field. Over considerably lengthy timescales, the field flips, although we aren’t sure why it does or precisely how often. When it inevitably does in the future, it could cause some problems: it’s preceded by a significant weakening of the magnetic field, which means some extra solar radiation will get through to the surface during that time. This may fry some electronic equipment, but nothing catastrophic will occur, despite what some may erroneously suggest. For more information on what will happen, I’d advise clicking here.

Either way, there’s no convincing evidence at all that the Earth’s magnetic field is “about” to flip, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t got weak spots. In fact, there’s a distinct dip in the planet’s magnetic field strength over the South Atlantic.

SAMA, as it’s sometimes referred to, is a longstanding enigma. Its origins are unclear, and – as revealed by a recent, stunning study combining archaeology and geophysics – scientists know that it’s not a modern-day phenomenon, but one that’s been there for many millennia.

What is known is that it sits above a huge, warm, dense blob right at the boundary between Earth’s mantle and the liquid outer core. Seismic waves act rather strangely when they interact with what is technically called the African Large Low Shear Velocity Province. It’s one of two so-called thermochemical piles, the other being under the Pacific Ocean.

Although it’s conjecture for now, it’s thought that this odd lump may be compressing the liquid outer core, squashing it and perhaps perturbing those churning currents of iron. This might be why SAMA exists: Earth’s dynamo has a dent at this point.

Whatever the cause, SAMA is nothing less than a localized collapse of Earth’s magnetic field. This means solar radiation can sneak through this hole at a not-insignificant rate. The atmosphere blankets the surface from this stream, but satellites above it aren’t so shielded, which is why any that pass through this area have to have additional shielding.

VIIRS, aboard Suomi, may have thought it was looking at a strange fire in the middle of the sea back in the summer of2017 Instead, it was picking up on a stream of SAMA-aided energetic particles zipping through the skies. There was no fire; it was a radiation phantom, playing tricks with the satellite’s highly sensitive instruments.

As Voiland’s piece notes, algorithms are designed to filter out these curiosities, but every now and then, a few can slip through, resulting in some rather fascinating ghosts in the machine.

” readability=”147.081657848″>
< div _ ngcontent-c14 =" " innerhtml ="

(****** )

VIIRS, on the night of July (*********************************************** )th2017, found a number of fires on land- and likewise one at sea, on the right of the image. NASA

(************** ) The majority of us like an excellent ghost story, so viewing as it’s Halloween, I believed I ‘d look for something appropriately scary, and geoscience-y, to share. Thankfully, I have actually discovered a doozy: the Twitter account of NASA’s Earth Observatory just recently shared the story of a phantom fire that appeared in a not likely location– the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

You can have a look at the initial post by EO’s Adam Voiland here, however I’ll attempt to include some additional context this time around. In either case, this tale’s too great not to retell.

High above our heads, the Suomi NPP satellite wanders, peering down at the world’s surface area. Among its instruments, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite ( VIIRS), is– as the name recommends– respectable at detecting anomalous thermal signatures.

(************** )

(************** )(*************** )That’s not all it does. Whether it’s taking a look at the world’s ice cover, its oceans and seas or its forests, mountains and valleys, it’s supplying researchers at NASA with some rather stunning reams of information. From the nighttime streetlights of the United States, to the sweeping, particulate-filled clouds over China, it’s absolutely nothing except vital– and it’s very proficient at what it’s developed to do.

On July 14 th 2017, nevertheless, it appeared like it was having a little an off day. Numerous numerous kilometers east of the coast of Brazil, in the South Atlantic Ocean, it detected a powerful thermal signature in the evening. Such abnormalities are generally fires, however this provided an issue: how could there be a big fire in the sea? There’s absolutely nothing out there that could trigger a fire that extreme, so what the heck was it?

It ends up that the description is connected to a far higher secret: the South Atlantic Magnetic Abnormality, or SAMA.

Earth, rather notoriously, has an electromagnetic field. Why it has one isn’t totally clear, however the fundamentals are understood. Earth has a liquid, iron-rich external core that, thanks to the method the world is cooling off, includes currents that go up and down in enormous ellipses. Thanks to the eager beaver theory, which nicely links electrical power and magnetism, this develops an electromagnetic field, total with north and south poles a bit like a bar magnet.

The majority of this magnetic energy stays stuck below our feet, however at the magnetic poles– which, unlike the geographical poles, move gradually gradually– events of electromagnetic field lines streak out into area and circle back once again. It’s at these points where the interaction in between the electromagnetic field and the Sun’s inbound stream of energetic particles is greatest, which is why we get the aurorae there.

An electromagnetic field isn’t simply there to place on a heavenly program of multi-colored incandescence above our heads. Its capability to deflect effective solar radiation indicates that animals and animals on the surface area isn’t continuously bombarded by it, so in a really genuine sense it’s a lifesaver.

As previously mentioned, there’s plenty we do not learn about Earth’s electromagnetic field. Over substantially prolonged timescales, the field turns, although we aren’t sure why it does or exactly how typically. When it undoubtedly performs in the future, it might trigger some issues: it’s preceded by a substantial weakening of the electromagnetic field, which indicates some additional solar radiation will get across the surface area throughout that time. This might fry some electronic devices, however absolutely nothing disastrous will happen, regardless of what some might mistakenly recommend. For additional information on what will take place, I ‘d encourage clicking here

In either case, there’s no persuading proof at all that the Earth’s electromagnetic field is “about” to turn, however that does not imply it hasn’t got weak points. In truth, there’s an unique dip in the world’s magnetic field strength over the South Atlantic.

SAMA, as it’s in some cases described, is a longstanding enigma. Its origins are uncertain, and– as exposed by a current, spectacular research study integrating archaeology and geophysics– researchers understand that it’s not a modern-day phenomenon, however one that’s been there for lots of centuries.

What is understood is that it sits above a big, warm, thick blob right at the limit in between Earth’s mantle and the liquid external core. Seismic waves act rather oddly when they communicate with what is technically called the African Big Low Shear Speed Province. It is among 2 so-called thermochemical stacks, the other being under the Pacific Ocean.

Although it’s opinion in the meantime, it’s believed that this odd swelling might be compressing the liquid external core, squashing it and possibly troubling those churning currents of iron. This may be why SAMA exists: Earth’s eager beaver has a damage at this moment.

Whatever the cause, SAMA is absolutely nothing less than a localized collapse of Earth’s electromagnetic field. This indicates solar radiation can slip through this hole at a not-insignificant rate. The environment blankets the surface area from this stream, however satellites above it aren’t so protected, which is why any that go through this location need to have extra protecting.

VIIRS, aboard Suomi, might have believed it was taking a look at an odd fire in the middle of the sea back in the summertime of2017 Rather, it was detecting a stream of SAMA-aided energetic particles zipping through the skies. There was no fire; it was a radiation phantom, playing techniques with the satellite’s extremely delicate instruments.

As Voiland’s piece notes, algorithms are developed to filter out these interests, however every once in a while, a couple of can slip through, leading to some rather interesting ghosts in the device.

” readability =”147
081657848″ >

.

.

VIIRS, on the night of July 17 th 2017, found a number of fires on land – and likewise one at sea, on the right of the image. NASA

.

.

The majority of us like an excellent ghost story, so viewing as it’s Halloween, I believed I ‘d look for something appropriately scary, and geoscience-y, to share. Thankfully, I have actually discovered a doozy: the Twitter account of NASA’s Earth Observatory just recently shared the story of a phantom fire that appeared in a not likely location– the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

You can have a look at the initial post by EO’s Adam Voiland here , however I’ll attempt to include some additional context this time around. In either case, this tale’s too great not to retell.

High above our heads, the Suomi NPP satellite wanders, peering down at the world’s surface area. Among its instruments, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite ( VIIRS ), is– as the name recommends– respectable at detecting anomalous thermal signatures.

That’s not all it does. Whether it’s taking a look at the world’s ice cover, its oceans and seas or its forests, mountains and valleys, it’s supplying researchers at NASA with some rather stunning reams of information. From the nighttime streetlights of the United States, to the sweeping, particulate-filled clouds over China, it’s absolutely nothing except vital– and it’s very proficient at what it’s developed to do.

On July 14 th 2017, nevertheless, it appeared like it was having a little an off day. Numerous numerous kilometers east of the coast of Brazil, in the South Atlantic Ocean, it detected a powerful thermal signature in the evening. Such abnormalities are generally fires, however this provided an issue: how could there be a big fire in the sea? There’s absolutely nothing out there that could trigger a fire that extreme, so what the heck was it?

It ends up that the description is connected to a far higher secret: the South Atlantic Magnetic Abnormality , or SAMA.

Earth, rather notoriously, has an electromagnetic field. Why it has one isn’t totally clear, however the fundamentals are understood. Earth has a liquid, iron-rich external core that, thanks to the method the world is cooling off, includes currents that go up and down in enormous ellipses. Thanks to the eager beaver theory, which nicely links electrical power and magnetism, this develops an electromagnetic field, total with north and south poles a bit like a bar magnet.

The majority of this magnetic energy stays stuck below our feet, however at the magnetic poles– which, unlike the geographical poles, move gradually gradually– events of electromagnetic field lines streak out into area and circle back once again. It’s at these points where the interaction in between the electromagnetic field and the Sun’s inbound stream of energetic particles is greatest, which is why we get the aurorae there.

An electromagnetic field isn’t simply there to place on a heavenly program of multi-colored incandescence above our heads. Its capability to deflect effective solar radiation indicates that animals and animals on the surface area isn’t continuously bombarded by it, so in a really genuine sense it’s a lifesaver.

As previously mentioned, there’s plenty we do not learn about Earth’s electromagnetic field. Over substantially prolonged timescales, the field turns, although we aren’t sure why it does or exactly how typically. When it undoubtedly performs in the future, it might trigger some issues: it’s preceded by a substantial weakening of the electromagnetic field, which indicates some additional solar radiation will get across the surface area throughout that time. This might fry some electronic devices, however absolutely nothing disastrous will happen, regardless of what some might mistakenly recommend. For additional information on what will take place, I ‘d encourage clicking here

In either case, there’s no persuading proof at all that the Earth’s electromagnetic field is “about” to turn, however that does not imply it hasn’t got weak points. In truth, there’s an unique dip in the world’s magnetic field strength over the South Atlantic.

SAMA, as it’s in some cases described, is a longstanding enigma. Its origins are uncertain, and– as exposed by a current, spectacular research study integrating archaeology and geophysics– researchers understand that it’s not a modern-day phenomenon, however one that’s been there for lots of centuries.

What is understood is that it sits above a big, warm, thick blob right at the limit in between Earth’s mantle and the liquid external core. Seismic waves act rather oddly when they communicate with what is technically called the African Big Low Shear Speed Province. It is among 2 so-called thermochemical stacks, the other being under the Pacific Ocean.

Although it’s opinion in the meantime, it’s believed that this odd swelling might be compressing the liquid external core, squashing it and possibly troubling those churning currents of iron. This may be why SAMA exists: Earth’s eager beaver has a damage at this moment.

Whatever the cause, SAMA is absolutely nothing less than a localized collapse of Earth’s electromagnetic field. This indicates solar radiation can slip through this hole at a not-insignificant rate. The environment blankets the surface area from this stream, however satellites above it aren’t so protected, which is why any that go through this location need to have extra protecting.

VIIRS, aboard Suomi, might have believed it was taking a look at an odd fire in the middle of the sea back in the summertime of2017 Rather, it was detecting a stream of SAMA-aided energetic particles zipping through the skies. There was no fire; it was a radiation phantom, playing techniques with the satellite’s extremely delicate instruments.

As Voiland’s piece notes, algorithms are developed to filter out these interests, however every once in a while, a couple of can slip through, leading to some rather interesting ghosts in the device.

.