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Magnetic Fields, the South Atlantic Anomaly and LU9HBG



I just finished watching a repeat PBS's NOVA that featured a report on
reversal's of the earth's magnetic field that happen every ~200,000 years.
It's been about 700,000 years since the last one, so we are overdue. The
original show aired in Nov. 2003, but it is still quite timely.

Two items of interest to the amateur satellite world about this show:

(a) Featured prominently is Goddard's Mario Acuna. Mario is LU9HBG and is a
long-time AMSAT supporter. Among other things, it was his magnetometers that
Martin Sweeting flew on the UoSATs. Mario was also the source for the
Tantalum we used to shield the P3-A and AO-10 computer memory.

(b) The program tells about why the South Atlantic Anomaly is a place where
solar particle fluxes are ~30% higher than at other low-latitude locations,
which in turn is why satellites tend to develop software glitches when they
fly thru that area.

See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/magnetic/ for a program snapshot and watch
for the hour-long version on your local PBS station.

73 de Tom, W3IWI
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