NASA is apparently planning to investigate a strange anomaly in the earth's atmosphere. The anomaly was spotted 250 miles above the North Pole, and it is basically a funnel-shaped gap that opens up in the Earth's magnetic field every day at noon local time.
Mysterious funnel-shaped gap baffles experts
Researchers noted that this funnel-shaped gap can be only viewed at noon when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.
The magnetic field in the earth plays a crucial role in protecting the planet from deadly radiations from the Sun. Researchers believe that this funnel-shaped gap creates a space where solar winds interact with the earth's atmosphere, thus negatively impacting the functioning of satellites and spacecraft.
NASA researchers also found that spacecraft passing through the region often used to slow down due to this anomaly.
NASA's CREX-2 mission
NASA has launched the CREX-2 mission to study this speed bump above the planet's the North Pole. Through this mission, the United States space agency aims to unveil more details about this area, and the agency is planning to fire a rocket into the sky from Norway.
NASA had previously planned to carry out this mission in 2019. However, due to negative weather conditions and the Covid pandemic, the space agency postponed its mission to 2021.
"At around 250 miles above Earth, spacecraft feel more drag, sort of like they've hit a speed bump," said Mark Conder, CREX-2 principal investigator, and physicist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
According to NASA, one possibility behind the anomaly could be electric and magnetic effects in the ionosphere, the layer of Earth's upper atmosphere that is ionized by the Sun.