Physics first heard “drumming” of the magnetic shield of Earth

Physics first heard “drumming” of the magnetic shield of Earth

MOSCOW, 12 Feb — RIA Novosti. A flotilla of NASA probes has helped scientists to prove that the surface of the magnetic shield of the Earth are standing acoustic waves, similar in structure to the drumming. Their description and possible sources were presented in the journal Nature Communications.

“Many of our colleagues have already started to think that these vibrations is not, as in the last 45 years, we found no evidence of their existence. This was partly due to the fact that their unambiguous detection we need a whole flotilla of probes in orbit. Our discovery proves that the “drumroll” there is,” said Martin Archer (Archer Martin) from Queen Mary University in London (UK).

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The earth, unlike Venus and other planets in the Solar system, has its own magnetic field that is produced 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 58 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. They produce beautiful auroras and cause radio interference during solar flares.

A little further on, at a distance of 62 thousands of kilometers, or 10 Earth radii, is the so-called magnetopause, invisible to the eye the boundary between the magnetic shield of the Earth and the open space where the field strength falls sharply.

As noted by Archer, the discovery of solar wind, cosmic rays and other phenomena that are constantly bombarding the Earth, has led scientists to think about how their constant clashes with the magnetopause will influence its behavior.

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The first calculations carried out by theorists in the early 1970s, showed that because of this “surface” of the magnetosphere there is a particular standing wave, resembling the beating of drums. Due to this, the boundary between the magnetic shield of the Earth and outer space is not perfectly spherical, and wavy.

Physicists have repeatedly tried to discover these “folds” and drum roll, but their search is hampered by the fact that every second of the magnetopause is faced with an enormous number of cosmic rays of high energy clusters of solar plasma and other charged particles are not uniquely “hear” these vibrations.