Scientists at the University of Alberta , Canada, have found that the solar wind is drawn more to the North Pole than the South Pole. A phenomenon whose exact origin remains unknown.
Who has never dreamed of contemplating the Northern and Southern Lights? These splendid spectacles that nature offers us fascinated scientists for a long time. We know that these are light exposures caused by the penetration of charged particles of the solar wind into the Earth's atmosphere. Experts have long believed that these particles are evenly distributed between the North Pole and the South Pole. However, a study by physicists at the Canadian University of Alberta shows the opposite.
According to their conclusion, there are more charged particles moving towards the North Pole than towards the South Pole.
Data provided by satellites deployed in 2013
This discovery is the result of the exploitation of data emitted by the small constellation of Swarm satellites, which was put into orbit in November 2013. Ivan Pakhotin, one of the experts who participated in the study, mentioned according to Science Alert in his team's report that "the Earth's magnetic South Pole is further from the Earth's axis of rotation than the magnetic North Pole."
This difference is not without consequence. It would lead in particular to a disproportion in the distribution of the Alfvén waves, electromagnetic waves which have the particularity of appearing in a plasma immersed in a magnetic field. In addition, it would impact the way the North and South Poles interact with the solar wind.
Unfortunately, scientists do not yet know why there is such an asymmetry between the magnetic field of the two poles of the Earth. However, one hypothesis is that this is the consequence of the presence of different particles above the North Pole and the South Pole.
Either way, this discovery will certainly require years of further research before it can be elucidated. In the meantime, the three satellites that form the constellation Swarm will therefore continue to do their work.