Solar Flare Caused a ‘Crack’ in Protective Field Around Earth (Video)
A team of scientists suspects that Earth’s magnetic field cracked due to a solar flare.
A news release by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in India reports that the two-hour event was spotted by the GRAPES-3 muon telescope on June 22, 2015.
The release goes on to state that “The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona, and…struck our planet, causing a severe compression of Earth’s magnetosphere from 11 to 4 times the radius of Earth.”
This area is considered to be a shield from strong radiation. A geomagnetic storm is believed to have resulted from the activity, as The Wire reports, which “allowed an unusually high flux of cosmic ray particles to arrive on Earth.”
According to the institute, consequent simulations indicated that “the Earth’s magnetic shield temporarily cracked due to the occurrence of magnetic reconnection, allowing the lower energy galactic cosmic ray particles to enter our atmosphere.”
While such damage can’t necessarily be avoided in the future, the team believes the research could help to enable “a better understanding of future superstorms.”