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View Full Version : ‘Will We Soon Find Ourselves Back In The Stone Age?’ Why Swarm Is Watching Our Magnet



Fraser
2013-Nov-25, 04:10 PM
A satellite triplet was born last week. The European Space Agency’s Swarm constellation flew into space on Friday (Nov. 22) on a quest to understand more about the Earth’s magnetic field. Around the same time, ESA put out a few videos explaining why the magnetic field is important. This one explains that the magnetic field […]

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NEOWatcher
2013-Nov-25, 04:30 PM
Stone age? Really?

They say that because "cavemen" didn't have all those electronic gadgets.
Well, neither did the industrial revolution. The only thing that would have been affected for them is the compass.

They still would have been able to forge iron and do plenty of other stuff. It would have been difficult to navigate.

Concerned
2013-Nov-25, 11:32 PM
Just found this thread. Exactly, I don't see how magnetic reversal would mean I forget how things work. Just means when your sat nav says go north, head south.

Solfe
2013-Nov-25, 11:42 PM
Oh, my god! Pole reversal causes Deja vu.

Concerned
2013-Nov-26, 12:05 AM
Watching the ESA video, they even show the land reversing with the poles, tbh, bit of a silly thing to do? Also, they state that such a thing would effect all sorts of systems briefly, but, with little explanation as to why.

Van Rijn
2013-Nov-26, 07:11 AM
Watching the ESA video, they even show the land reversing with the poles, tbh, bit of a silly thing to do?


It looked to me like they were just showing a reversal of the magnetic poles.


Also, they state that such a thing would effect all sorts of systems briefly, but, with little explanation as to why.


Yes, I'm pretty shocked that this thing thing came from the ESA. For instance, they said GPS wouldn't work anymore, but the function of GPS doesn't have anything to do with the Earth's magnetic field. I'm guessing they're thinking about damage to the satellites (since they mention other satellites too) but in some ways the conditions would be improved for GPS satellites, since they currently have to go through parts of the Van Allen belts where energetic particles are concentrated by the Earth's magnetic field. And we have spacecraft that have worked for decades all over the solar system, spacecraft that have gotten far closer to the sun than Earth, spacecraft that have gone through the extreme radiation conditions in Jupiter's Van Allen belts, etc.

Nor do power supplies on Earth require the Earth's magnetic field to work. I don't know whether this was a case of the film producers listening to a scientist's argument and cutting out a lot of the vital details because they didn't think it important, or if they didn't bother to check with any scientists in the first place. Either way, it doesn't make sense as stated.