The solar wind is strangely drawn toward the Earth’s North Pole, and scientists do not know why

Probably the most well-known result of the Earth’s magnetic field is the Aurora Boralis and Austral Australia (Northern and Southern Lights). When charged particles from the solar wind run into the Earth’s magnetic field, they can occasionally emit spectacular light displays.

For many years, scientists have thought that the charged particles that it represents were sent in equal numbers to the North and South Poles.

However, recent research by a team led by scientists at the University of Alberta has proven that there are actually more charged particles moving north than south. Now the question is whether?

The data used by scientists was collected by the Sound Satellite Constellation – a group of 3 satellites that have been observing the Earth’s magnetic field since 2013.

One thing that has been noticed at the time is that the Earth’s magnetic south pole is “farther from the Earth’s spin axis than the magnetic north pole,” says Evan Pakotin, the paper’s lead author.

This leads to a difference in the reflection of a type of electromagnetic waves called alfone waves, which ultimately makes a difference in how the north and south poles interact with the solar wind.

This measured asymmetry can mean a lot of things. For one, the chemistry that occurs in the upper atmosphere can vary dramatically between the North and South Poles, which can have significant climatic effects on the ground. Also, it could mean the difference between the two auroras.

Yet the effects of asymmetry are unclear, and like almost all good science, it guarantees further study. Swarm will continue its mission to collect data that will be relevant to solving the mystery.

In the meantime, those of us who are lucky enough to experience the auroras, they can keep looking up in amazement, no matter how different they may be.

This article was originally published by Universe Today. Read the original article.