A hole has been detected in the Earth’s magnetic shield. Data from the GRAPES-3 muon telescope in Ooty, India shows the magnetosphere has come under such heavy bombardment in recent years that it weakening. Researchers in India made the discovery when analyzing a galactic cosmic ray burst that caused radio blackouts across North and South America and a supercharged aurora borealis in 2015. The magnetic field that protects Earth from deadly cosmic radiation may be more vulnerable than previously thought. A crack in the shield caused by a solar flare which exposed the planet to a bombardment of radiation has been detected.
The cosmic ray source was a giant solar plasma cloud that travelled 40 hours from our sun to reach Earth, where the researchers believe it caused a transient “weakening of Earth’s magnetic shield”, according to their findings published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Unfortunately not a lot can be done to protect Earth from any future cracks in the shield, which could leave the planet under constant exposure to radiation and could potentially lead to the eradication of our atmosphere.