Crack in earth’s magnetic shield recorded

Q.  The world’s largest and most sensitive cosmic ray monitor in India has recorded a burst of galactic cosmic rays that indicates a crack in the earth’s magnetic shield. Where is it located?
- Published on 04 Nov 16

a. Kullu
b. Ooty
c. Manali
d. None of the above

ANSWER: Ooty
 
Crack in earth’s magnetic shield recordedThe world’s largest and most sensitive cosmic ray monitor located in India has recorded a burst of galactic cosmic ray indicating a crack in the magnetic shield of the earth.
  • The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona struck the earth at very high speeds.
  • This caused massive compression of the earth’s magnetosphere.
  • It triggered a severe geomagnetic storm.
  • GRAPES-3 muon telescope located at TIFR’s Cosmic Ray lab in Ooty in TN recorded a burst of galactic cosmic rays of 20 GeV in 2015 lasting for two hours.
  • The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona moving with the speed of 2.5 million kmh struck our planet, causing severe compression of earth’s magnetosphere from 11 to 4 times the radius of the Earth.
  • A severe geomagnetic storm that generated the aurora borealis and radio signal blackouts in many high latitude countries.
  • Earth’s magnetosphere extends over a radius of a million km acting as the first line of defence.
  • It shields planet earth from solar and galactic cosmic rays thus protecting life on the planet from high intensity energetic radiations.
  • The crack is temporary only.
  • It occurred due to the magnetic reconnection allowing lower energy galactic cosmic ray particles to enter the atmosphere.
  • Earth’s magnetic field bent these particles by 180 degrees from the day side to the night side of the earth, when it was found by the GRAPES-3 muon telescope in June 2015.
  • Solar storms cause major disruption to human civilisation by crippling large electrical power grids, GPS and satellite operations and communications.

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