Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Danish researchers build magnetic observatory in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

25.11.2008
A new Danish observatory on a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean will provide researchers with new knowledge about the mysterious irregularity of the Earth’s magnetic field known as the South Atlantic Anomaly. The observatory is a partnership between DMI, the Danish Meteorological Institute, and DTU Space, the Danish National Space Institute.

The new geomagnetic observatory is located on the island of Tristan da Cunha and was inaugurated on Friday 14 November by the island’s roughly 300 inhabitants and a few of the researchers on the project.

Tristan da Cunha is the remotest inhabited island in the world and is also located right in the middle of the South Atlantic Anomaly, which is the area where the Earth’s magnetic field is weakest. This makes it incredibly interesting for the Danish researchers, who are working to understand the Earth’s magnetic field and the way in which it affects satellites, for example.

“Until now, Denmark has mostly been involved in projects that measure the magnetic field from space, with the Ørsted satellite and the future Swarm satellite mission, as well as the measuring stations in Greenland,” says Professor Nils Olsen of DTU Space. “With the observatory on Tristan da Cunha, we will have a measuring station in the Tropics right in the middle of the South Atlantic Anomaly, where the strength of the magnetic field is only half as high as in Denmark.”

The Earth’s magnetic field is losing strength

At present the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field is decreasing by 5% every hundred years and researchers do not know why or what the consequences will be. In the South Atlantic Anomaly, the strength of the magnetic field is decreasing ten times as fast and the measuring station will therefore also give the researchers the opportunity to learn more about the consequences of the global weakening of the magnetic field.

The magnetic field protects the Earth from radiation from space and the area around the South Atlantic Anomaly is therefore very poorly protected. In the Anomaly, the radiation belts that surround the Earth, the van Allen belts, are very close to the surface of the Earth. This is, among other things, significant to satellites, which suffer by far the majority of faults when they fly through this area.

Six days’ sailing from Cape Town

“Opening the observatory is a milestone in our research,” says senior researcher Jürgen Matzka from DMI, who is heading the project. “Finding a suitable location for the cabin on the island was a major logistical challenge, and we had a lot of help from South African colleagues and the French firm of engineers EnviroConsult. The cabin is also built exclusively of wood and brass in order not to disturb the magnetic measurements.” Shipping instruments to the island is no mean feat, as Tristan da Cunha is six days’ sailing from Cape Town, and there is no port or airport on the island.

Sune Nordentoft Lauritsen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.spacecenter.dk
http://www.space.dtu.dk/English/News/News.aspx?guid={9E00E380-FD61-4E61-9517-DA1B2832C4D9}

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>